HAMPDEN TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
May 14, 2015 7:30 p.m.
Planning Commission Members
Chairman Ronald Stephens
Vice Chairman Craig Mellott – Absent
Member Tracey Vernon – Absent
Member Claudia Williams
Member Bobbye Gregory
Nathan Silcox – Absent
County Planning Commission
Manager Keith Metts
Assistant Manager David Blechertas
Assistant Zoning Officer Darrell McMillan
Assistant Director of Public Works Jeremy Miller
Pledge of Allegiance
Chairman Stephens lead the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Call to Order by Chairman Stephens
Chairman Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and stated Proof of Publication was available for public inspection.
There was none.
Approval of the Minutes
MOTION by Ms. Williams to approve the Planning Commission Meeting Minutes of
April 9, 2015. The motion, seconded by Ms. Gregory, carried unanimously.
Chairman Stephens noted for the record that all items under Old Business have been tabled by the projects’ applicants.
Request consideration for a Conditional Use application from the Cumberland Valley School District
John Murphy, Alpha Consulting Engineers, along with Michael Willis, Cumberland Valley School District, and Michael Cassidy of the Law Firm of Johnson Duffie, were present to speak concerning the application by Cumberland Valley School District.
Mr. Murphy said the school district is in the process of acquiring three parcels, a portion of which is in Hampden Township and Silver Spring Township and encompasses the Cignetto tract, a portion of the Ceckovich tract, and the Yohe tract. He said that a few years back there was a land development plan on the Cignetto and Yohe tract for single-family housing that never materialized. He said the proposal would include the construction of two schools, an elementary and a middle school. He said the middle school main facility would be situated in Hampden Township.
Ms. Gregory asked where the students would come from for the new facility. Mr. Willis responded that students from both Silver Spring and Hampden Townships would be drawn to the facility to allow more capacity at the other schools.
Manager Metts said, as Mr. Murphy indicated, the application before the Planning Commission this evening, is for a Conditional Use and not reflective of a land development plan.
Manager Metts asked if there would be lighting and a PA system in the athletic field that could affect the residential properties that abut the school property. Mr. Murphy said that has not been determined, but there probably will be lighting and they will comply with all lighting regulations by the Township. He said as far as a PA system, they probably would not have large meets at the site, but they would comply with the regulations to protect the neighbors.
Manager Metts said that on the proposed site plan it shows yard setbacks for Silver Spring Township are considerably more than some of the setbacks for Hampden. He asked that setbacks could marry up with Silver Spring’s 50-yard setbacks. Mr. Murphy said that they would meet the same setbacks.
Manager Metts asked that the applicant provide screening to the Hampden Township residential properties that abut the school facility. Mr. Murphy responded that they would.
Mr. McMillan asked what the small athletic field would be used for that is proposed beside the Bunker Hill development. Mr. Willis said they are just showing where they could put fields on the plan but are not sure if all shown will actually be used for athletics.
Phil Groth, Dry Powder Circle, asked if this plan was on the Township’s website. Assistant Manager Blechertas said if it were not already up, it would be the following day.
Mr. Kelly asked if the school was going through the same type of process with Silver Spring Township. Mr. Murphy replied it was similar but it was called a Special Exception not a Conditional Use.
Manager Metts said next week there would be a Zoning Hearing Board meeting concerning the school’s lot coverage variance request. He asked if that request covered the whole property including Silver Spring. Mr. Murphy said they would have to go before each Township’s Zoning Hearing Board separately to discuss lot coverage that only pertains to that particular Township. Mr. McMillan said he researched that question and the applicant has to apply to each Zoning Hearing Board independently.
Chairman Stephens said he sees that the plan shows a relocation of Bali Hai Road. He said he has a concern with that type of road, which is practically a cliff, now having school busses travel on it. He asked what type of improvements will be made, not just onsite, but to Sample Bridge Road and Lamb’s Gap Road. He said he wants to make sure everyone is looking at the whole package.
Chairman Stephens asked if the school had a requirement to bus every student. Mr. Willis said they are required by law to bus every child. He said not all parents put their child on the bus.
Mr. Willis said there will one bus that will travel and pick up students on Bali Hai Road and the rest of the busses will use the Lamb’s Gap corridor.
Chairman Stephens said Bali Hai Road is not his concern, but Sample Bridge Road and Lamb’s Gap Road and how that it is going to change the dynamics in how vehicles move up and down there. He asked about children that want to walk to school from the abutting neighborhood, about how safely could they travel. Mr. Willis said children can attempt to walk, he could not stop that, but the school must provide busses to pick the students up. He said children from the Brandywine area may attempt to walk to the school.
Manager Metts said there has been a meeting at PennDOT District 8, relative to the scoping meeting, with staff, the Township traffic engineer, and Silver Spring attending. He said during that meeting it was questioned about the entire stretch of Lamb’s Gap Road from Wertzville Road to the Carlisle Pike, including Creekview Road from Lamb’s Gap Road to the 581 interchange, as well as Hunter Drive out to Wertzville Road and some question about Good Hope Road as well. Mr. Murphy said they would be studying twelve or so intersections from the Carlisle Pike to Wertzville Road to Sample Bridge Road. He said it would be a comprehensive study of the whole area with input from PennDOT and the two municipalities.
MOTION by Ms. Williams to recommend approval to the Board of Commissioners the Request for consideration for a Conditional Use Application from the Cumberland Valley School District. The motion was seconded by Ms. Gregory.
Discussion on the motion:
Chairman Stephens asked if the members had any conditions to add in the motion. Manager Metts said the items that have been discussed and agreed to by Mr. Murphy:
1. The lighting for the athletic field, making sure it is compliant with Township regulations and ordinances, if it is installed.
2. Agreed to increase the yard setbacks to marry up with the distance shown in Silver Spring Township requirements.
3. Screening, this has already been depicted on the plan
Mr. Murphy said that they would agree to put those points in writing for the Board of Commissioners’ meeting.
The motion carried unanimously.
Request consideration for a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment by Verizon Wireless amending Chapter 27, Part 1818 of the Hampden Township Zoning Ordinance
James Strong, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, was present to speak concerning the Verizon Wireless text amendment request. He said they are minor amendments to Chapter 27, Section 1818.
Mr. Strong said Verizon Wireless has been working with Hampden Township on a proposed communications tower facility that will be located on the property that was donated to the Township by Giant. He said the proposed facility would be a small lease area 60 x 70 feet, the fence compound within that lease area would be 40 x 50 feet with landscape screening. He said within in that fence compound would be the proposed monopole.
Mr. Strong said they have reviewed Section 1818 and he went over the proposed changes to the ordinance as stated in their request.
Ms. Williams said she had a question about the fence height and if it is an issue for the Township. Manager Metts went over the Township’s fence regulations but was concerned about the language proposed that did not specificy a maximum fence height. Mr. Strong said they would resubmit with a minimum fence height at six feet and a maximum at eight feet.
Manager Metts said he would like some clarification on why the draft has the buildings as opposed to structure, which is used elsewhere in the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Strong said he had a discussion with Hampden Township Solicitor Keith Brenneman about that section and the concern would be the definition of structure is any man-made object having an ascertainable location. He said it was so broad that it could capture anything other than what is there naturally. Mr. Strong said that talking with Solicitor Brenneman the term buildings were the concern. Manager Metts said a structure would include a picnic pavilion, bathroom, and a playground, all of which should be afforded the same type of safety measures. Mr. Strong said that maybe they could add buildings or structures that are to be used or occupied by people. He said he understands the concept and they would come up with a term.
Ms. Gregory asked if Verizon was leading the change in the amendment. Manager Metts said the Commissioners and staff had anticipated a possible lease arrangement with a carrier that has begun some initial discussions. They have been instructed to consider an amendment to the Township’s existing ordinance. He said it would be applicable throughout the Township. He said the ordinance is in line with the industry standards.
MOTION by Ms. Williams to recommend to the Board of Commissioners to schedule a public hearing for consideration of a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment by Verizon Wireless amending Chapter 27, Part 1818 of the Hampden Township Zoning Ordinance subject to changes discussed in the minutes, includes the maximum height of the fence no more than 8 feet, and the definition of building versus structure. The motioned, seconded by Ms. Gregory, carried unanimously.
Request consideration for a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment amending Chapter 27, Part 17, of the Hampden Township Zoning Ordinance for the regulation of donation collection bins
Manager Metts said this is a proposal that staff had worked with the Solicitor at the approval of the Board of Commissioners to develop some requirements for donation collection bins. He said there have been a number of businesses throughout the Township that have embraced allowing these community based organizations to place collection bins at their sites.
Manager Metts said the ordinance is trying to regulate such things as the placement of those bins so they are not within a cartway, not taking up required parking spaces, if it starts to overflow with donated material, that they are kept cleaned up or tidy, placed on impervious area rather than the yard.
Mr. Kelly said he had one comment with regards to the placement of the donation bin adjacent to a residential use, which it has to be within an enclosure. He was wondering if that location is hidden already or cannot be seen from a residential use, does it still have to be placed in an enclosure. Manager Metts said the Township currently requires enclosures for dumpsters and a donation bin is not a dumpster, but it is a requirement for a commercial property adjacent to a residential area or other areas throughout the Township.
Ms. Williams asked if there was a concern that in attempting to define what a donation collection bin is, people may try to skirt around the requirements. Mr. McMillan said that may happen and the Township may have to revise the ordinance.
MOTION by Ms. Gregory to recommend approval to the Board of Commissioners the Request consideration for a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment amending Chapter 27, Part 17, of the Hampden Township Zoning Ordinance for the regulation of donation collection bins. The motion, seconded by Ms. Williams, carried unanimously.
Recommendation on Mixed Use Overlay Zoning District Ordinances
Manager Metts said the Board of Commissioners, staff, steering committee, and a retained consultant have worked on the development of the Mixed Use Overlay District for a period of nine months or more. He said the Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing on June 2, 2015.
Manager Metts said with the size of the ordinance there will likely be amendments proposed by developers from time to time.
Mr. Kelly said the County’s comments are in draft form because they meet to discuss this at their
May 21, 2015 Planning Commission meeting. He said some of the comments are to clarify or interpret a section and is broken down between the zoning and land development ordinances.
Mr. Kelly asked when the “clock” starts for plan submission, discussion followed. Manager Metts said
Item 2, under the Land Development section has been discussed and the consultants advising that the revised preliminary plan would start the land development 90-day window, but perhaps a developer would challenge that someday.
MOTION: by Ms. Williams to recommend approval to the Board of Commissioners the Mixed Use Overlay Zoning District Ordinances with comments. The motion, seconded by
Ms. Gregory, carried unanimously.
Good and Welfare
Kohr Sketch Plan
Manager Metts stated that the developers/applicant of the tract were not present to speak concerning their proposed plan.
Mr. Groth, Dry Powder Circle, asked what is happening with Hampden Township’s future plans for transportation with signalizations of intersections, turnarounds and the ease of getting around. He was referring to the Comprehensive Plan. He asked how the two new schools would impact the roadways in the area and the Township’s future transportation plan. Chairman Stephens said that the meetings and studies that would be going towards the school, these transportation questions would be brought out. Manager Metts said at this point and time the Township has been told the signalization of Creekview and 581 interchange is on the transportation improvement plan. He said that is generally a three-year funding period for the project to be evaluated. Manager Metts said beyond that when the school district representatives were present, there was a traffic-scoping meeting held. He said the Township came in with an expanded area of traffic analysis that they asked for. He said traffic counts and studies will be performed and the Township will be pushing for improvements to be made as needed and required.
Manager Metts said relative to the school district’s desire to relocate the existing middle school, it is something that their school board wrestles with and makes those decisions and funding commitments. He said the Township would make the most of the proposed site development and ensure compliance with the ordinances.
MOTION by Ms. Gregory to adjourn the Planning Commission Meeting. The motion, seconded by Ms. Williams, carried unanimously.
Chairman Stephens adjourned the meeting at approximately 8:40 p.m.
Rita Finkboner, Recording Secretary