LANCASTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
1240 Maple Avenue
Lancaster PA 17603
MEETING MINUTES – March 20, 2012
CALL TO ORDER
Melissa Kelly, Chair, called to order the regular meeting of the Lancaster Township Planning Commission at 7:00 pm on March 20, 2012 in the Lancaster Township Municipal Building. The following members were present: Bob Desmarais, Glenn Ebersole, Richard Hendricks, Melanie LeFevre, Gordon Reed, and Angela Sowers. Also present from Lancaster Township: Tom Daniels, Zoning Officer, Rebecca French, Zoning Assistant, Bill Laudien, Township Manager and Kathy Wasong, Board of Supervisors. Gwen Newell of the Lancaster County Planning Commission was present. Keith Heigel, Light-Heigel & Associates Inc, Donna Deerin Ward, LMS, Caroline Hoffer, Barley Snyder, Eric Mountz, Traffic Planning & Design Inc, Rich Ozimek, Blackford Development, and Mike Leichliter, Superintendent of Penn Manor School District were also in attendance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES – February 21, 2012
The February 21, 2012 meeting minutes were approved as submitted.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION/COMMENTS: NONE
SUBDIVISION/LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Action Item: Petition of Blackford Development LTD to amend the Official Zoning Map of the Zoning Ordinance of Lancaster Township.
Review: Caroline Hoffer, attorney with Barley Snyder, stated that Penn Manor School District, has joined to consent and are in agreement with the Petition to the Board of Supervisors of Lancaster Township by Blackford Development to Amend by Rezoning the tract of land, a 1.53 acre parcel located between the West side of Millersville Road (S.R. 741) and the East side of Barbara Street owned by Penn Manor School District and situated in Lancaster Township, Lancaster County, PA, to be changed from Campus Open Space to Composite Commercial, C-2.
The reason for the rezoning request would be to allow for commercial redevelopment of the site. Ms. Hoffer stated her position for the compatibility of this proposed use with the comprehensive plan and stated that the applicant commits to submit an additional rezoning petition to establish the zoning district boundaries on the road centerline once than design has been finalized.
Keith Heigel described the overall project scope
• Rezoning request to propose commercial use in the 5.9 acre triangle area
• Convenience store with 8 lanes of gasoline fueling and parking lot
• Retail stores/parking
• Restaurant/ parking
• Bank with drive through teller/parking
• Extension of Wabank Road and signal improvements
• Driveway through commercial development parking lot
• Entrance lane from SR 741 into driveway
• Full access onto extended Wabank Road
• Pedestrian facilities around perimeter of site
• Pedestrian crosswalks through driveway entrance and exit
• Barbara Street realignment at intersection with extended Wabank Road
• Night time parking lot lights would not shine into residential neighborhoods
• Street trees would be planted
• Landscaping between streets and parking lot
• Stormwater run off through bypass pipe
• Nine rain gardens installed around perimeter of commercial area
• Collect rain water before discharged
• Applicant has agreed to provide Township with fee-in-lieu-of parkland for the area being out of open space.
Several pages of signatures supporting the proposed retail commercial development were submitted to the LTPC from residents at Mill Creek Manor, the Sterling Place Homeowners Association, and from EG Stoltzfus, builder at Southern Village.
Gwen Newell of Lancaster County Planning Commission stated that County Planning Commission staff reviewed the petition for the rezoning request and recommended disapproval of the rezoning; the main issue with the disapproval of the rezone is:
• It does not meet the intent of the County and Township Comprehensive Plan
• It does not allow for a reasonable buffer between the multiple retail uses and proposed collector road expansion and the existing recreational use.
Ms. Newell reiterated that the proposed use of the Campus / Open Space District (S) is to conserve open lands and to provide educational and recreational opportunities for the community.
• It is the intent to provide for such uses where they will be most convenient to the residents and harmonious with the surrounding land uses.
• Permitted uses include in part; schools, parks, playgrounds, public and private swimming pools, and accessory buildings to permitted uses.
Traffic Planning and Design, Inc (TPD) held a meeting on Friday, February 24, 2012 at the Blackford Development offices with the Millersville Borough Manager, Millersville Borough Consultant, Rob Visniski, RAV Associates, Lancaster Township officials, and engineers from Rettew, among other attendees, to discuss the design of the roadway and accommodations for pedestrians related to the traffic impact study.
Eric Mountz of TPD presented updated Concept Plans to the LTPC.
• The limits of the plans were expanded to show the entire length of Wabank Road Extended from its intersection with Millersville Road to the tie in point with existing Barbara Street
• Plans were expanded to show the design of the driveway relocations for the four (4) impacted residential properties along the western side of Barbara Street
• A separate southbound right turn lane was added for vehicles on Millersville Road making a right turn to Wabank Road Extended.
• A 50 ft radius was provided on the southeast corner of the Millersville Road/Wabank Road intersection
• Pedestrian facilities were provided between the proposed ADA ramps on the northeast corner of the Millersville Road/Wabank Road intersection
• The length of the proposed eastbound Wabank Road Extended left turn lane at its intersection with Millersville Road was increased by eliminating the crosshatched gore area.
• Six foot wide pathways would extend along western side of Millersville Rd and southern side of Wabank Road Extended/Barbara Street
• Connect to the existing path along Barbara Street to Crossway Church
• Proposed improvements on Millersville Rd (State Road 741) North toward 999
• Proposed improvements along Wabank Rd South from Martin Elementary School to Comet Field
• Reroute alignment between Wabank Rd to connect with Barbara Street through SR 741
• Provide crosswalk on Barbara St at its STOP-controlled intersection with Wabank Rd
• Widening of the intersections of Millersville Rd and Wabank Rd
• Increase of pedestrian traffic
• Upgrade intersections
• Right and left turning lanes at intersection of Wabank Rd and SR 741
• Pedestrian crosswalks on all four corners of intersection (between school, recreational fields, retirement homes and commercial properties)
• Signage provided for school crossing lanes
• ADA curb ramps
• Pedestrian push buttons & signals
Ben Webber of Rettew attended the TPD meeting and stated that the zoning line as proposed may not accommodate the minimum three hundred (300) foot centerline horizontal radius required by Lancaster Township’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance for collector streets. He stated that the area of the re-zoning may need to be revised, and Rettew does not recommend that the proposed Re-zoning line be out of alignment with the centerline of the proposed Wabank Road West.
The result of realigning Barbara Street to a new intersection with itself and with Wabank Road West will eliminate the existing street Right-of-Way and Lot Annexations onto Borough residential lots currently fronting on existing Barbara Street.
• Rettew recommends that these areas of annexation be residential, not commercial. Lancaster Township Zoning Regulation (e.g. Driveways § 1912) are different, depending on the underlying zoning district.
Mr. Webber asked Ms. Hoffer if the applicant would commit to submitting the second rezoning request after preliminary plan approval and before final plan approval. Ms. Hoffer replied that the applicant would agree to that timeline. Mr. Webber asked Ms. Hoffer if the applicant would commit to re-zoning the residential lot “Add-on” parcels to residential rather than commercial, in the second re-zoning request. Ms. Hoffer replied that the applicant would agree to make that adjustment.
LTPC Comments and Discussion
• Why can’t the Wabank Road extension be relocated along the Township line
o That would not leave enough room for the commercial development parking
• The Township parcel will only be used for parking
• The intensity of use of the proposed commercial development is not an appropriate use for this area
• The intensity of use of the proposed commercial development causes safety concerns for students, residents, and traffic in and out of commercial development
• Concern that commercial crossings would be too close to the school
o Examples of existing proximal school/commercial situations were offered
• A lot of work has gone into the proposed commercial project for re-zoning from Campus/Open Space to Composite Commercial C-2
o Would benefit the neighboring residents
o Support the community economically
o Improvements at the Wabank Rd and the S.R. 741 intersection would be made
o Safeguards have been addressed with the proposed commercial project that would make the intersections safer
• Not comfortable penalizing Penn Manor School District or Millersville Borough by denying the request for re-zoning
• Local residents need a convenient gas station and convenience store in this area
• Have there been any previous recommendations that the LTPC has had to make that were inconsistent with the County and Township Comp Plan?
o Not to anyone’s recollection at this meeting
o The new Comp Plan has been recently updated with the ‘Growing Together’ Plan a few years ago
o There haven’t been many new developments under the new Comp Plan
o Those development plans that were previously addressed by the LTPC were under the old Comp Plan
• The proposed reroute alignment would move Wabank Rd very close to athletic fields
o The athletic field zones would be moved further inside the field
o Netting and fencing would be in place around athletic fields
• If the rezoning request is recommended to be approved and is approved, what happens if this developer does not follow through on this commercial project?
o The zoning for the entire 38 acre property would then be under one commercially (C-2) district
o Another developer may not necessarily commit to the same improvements to the intersections and other enhancements that this developer has
o Lancaster Township has the right to come back and request a change to the zoning
Mr. Webber stated that it may not be a perfect plan but it does provide some solutions to both Millersville Borough and Lancaster Township.
• The developer did a good job of extending the design further than necessary for a re-zoning request
• The majority of the problems can be solved through the Subdivision Land Development Plan process
• The Petition to rezone must be approved by the Lancaster Township Board of Supervisors prior to the approval of any subdivision land development preliminary plan.
Hearing no other comments, Melissa Kelly, Chair, asked the LTPC to entertain a motion regarding the Re-zoning Petition.
Richard Hendricks made a motion to recommend approval of the petition to rezone the 1.53 parcel of land located within Lancaster Township from Campus Open Space to Composite Commercial C-2. Gordon Reed seconded the motion. The number of LTPC members recommending approval was two (2). The number of LTPC members recommending disapproval of the rezone was five (5.)
The LTPC members voting for disapproval cited reasons that included:
1. The inconsistency with the Lancaster County and Lancaster Township Comprehensive Plans as described in the Lancaster County Planning Commission review
2. The intensity of use of the proposed commercial development is not an appropriate use for this area
3. Pedestrian safety concerns for residents and students
The LTPC members voting for approval cited reasons that included:
1. The proposed development would benefit the neighboring community economically and make needed safety improvements at the Wabank Road and Rt. 741 intersection
2. The need for fuel / convenience store availability
3. Support from Penn Manor School District and Mill Creek Manor
The Petition of Blackford Development LTD and the Penn Manor School District to amend the Official Zoning Map of the Zoning Ordinance of Lancaster Township goes before the Board of Supervisors at the April 9, 2012 meeting at 7 pm at the Township meeting room.
Zoning Ordinance Update:
Mr. Daniels stated that he and Ben Webber expect to finalize the revisions by mid-March and have the final draft of the revised Zoning Ordinance ready to distribute at April 17, 2011 meeting.
Ms. Kelly stated that she attended the James Street Investment District’s meeting on March 6th at the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. The JSID is currently making revisions to bicycle usage along Harrisburg Pike.
Glenn Ebersole asked if there was a Township regulation regarding the parking of a trailer loaded with white rowing sculls on the Township streets. Franklin and Marshall College has been parking a trailer with sculls on Wheatland Avenue. When residents are driving East on Wheatland Avenue and the early morning sun is shining directly in the driver’s eyes, it is difficult to see the trailer with white rowing sculls. Drivers are not expecting such a large trailer to be parked on the street. Mr. Daniels will contact F&M College to see what can be done about this parking obstacle.
Gwen Newell handed out color spreadsheets showing all impervious percentage of land within each zoning district of Lancaster Township.
Announcements for April 17, 2012 LTPC Meeting
(SALDO Plan for Millersville Commercial)
Briefing Item: New Lot Add-On Plan, Heritage Terrace LLC, Wabank Rd
Briefing Item: Blue Rock Development, Wabank Rd, Sam Bigler owner
The meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm. The next scheduled meeting will be held on April 17, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the Lancaster Township Municipal meeting room.