Channels Schuylkill Township October 1st 2014 - Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors Meeting

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For full meeting minutes go to: http://www.schuylkilltwp.com/Minutes/bos/October1_2014_bos_minutes.htm

BOARD DISCUSSION ITEMS

Old Business

Legal Matters

Nothing to report.

New Business

2014/2015 Equipment Rental & Snow Removal Contract Award

Ms. Majewski announced that one (1) bid had been received in response to the Request for Proposals for the Schuylkill Township 2014/2015 Equipment Rental & Snow Removal Contract.

Cedar Springs Construction Company, 24 Sawmill Road, Pottstown PA............... $284,100.00
Motion. On a motion by Mrs. Cohen, seconded by Mr. Handforth, and passed, the Board of Supervisors authorized the award of the Schuylkill Township 2014/2015 Equipment Rental and Snow Removal Contract to Cedar Springs Construction Company in an amount not to exceed $284,100.00, and in accordance with their proposal submitted on October 1, 2014 pending a bid compliance review by the Township Manager and Roadmaster.

Guaranty of Loan for the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company (“VFVFCo”)

Mr. Colket informed the Board that the VFVFCo was in a position to apply for a low-interest loan from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the amount of $175,000.00, the purpose of which was to restore some of the fire company’s investment accounts. Mr. Colket explained that Schuylkill Township would have to sign as a guarantor for this loan. Discussion ensued regarding the obligation this placed upon the Township.

Motion. On a motion by Mr. Handforth, seconded by Mrs. Cohen, and passed, the Board of Supervisors tabled the Guaranty of Loan for the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company to the November 5, 2014 Board meeting, and instructed the Solicitor to organize the appropriate paperwork to put before the Board at that time.

Resolutions / Ordinances

Advertisement of the Public Facilities Zoning Ordinance (“PFZ”) Amendment

Mr. Bellwoar briefly discussed the Draft Public Facilities Zoning Ordinance Amendment as drawn up by the Township’s staff, Township Solicitor and Zoning Committee Chair. Mr. Bellwoar reported that the edits requested by the Board at the September 3, 2014 Board meeting have been addressed by the Township’s Planning Commission, the Regional Planning Committee, and the Chester County Planning Commission and recommended adoption.

Motion. On a motion by Mrs. Cohen, seconded by Mr. Morrisson, and passed, the Board of Supervisors approved and authorized the advertising of the Draft Public Facilities Zoning Ordinance Amendment for a public hearing and possible adoption at the November 5, 2014 Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

Ordinance 2014-03 Cable Franchise Agreement Update

Mr. Brennan briefly explained the ordinance and how it had been advertised. Mr. Brennan explained that the updated franchise agreement with Comcast of PA, LLC would replace the agreement drawn up on 1965.

Motion. On a motion by Mr. Handforth, seconded by Mrs. Cohen, and passed, the Board of Supervisors approved and enacted Ordinance 2014-03 authorizing the repeal of the cable franchise agreement dated November 1965, and execution of a non-exclusive and revocable Cable Franchise Agreement between Schuylkill Township and Comcast of PA, LLC effective October 1, 2014 with a term of ten (10) years.

Resolution 2014-11: Township Repair of Water Drainage and Stormwater Drainage Issues on Private Property

Mr. Brennan explained to the Board that the purpose of this Resolution is to present a general statement of Township policy on how to address requests to review and/or repair water and stormwater drainage issues on private property. Mr. Brennan said it is a point of law that water problems on private property which are not directly caused by a municipality are not the responsibility of the municipality.

Motion. On a motion by Mrs. Cohen, seconded by Mr. Handforth, and passed, the Board of Supervisors approved and adopted Resolution 2014-11: Regarding Township Repairs of Water Drainage and Stormwater Drainage Issues on Private Property.

Subdivisions/Land Development

Proposed Apartment Complex – Valley Forge Meadows, Inc. (Nolen)

Mr. Diemer gave an overview of the proposed development of a 9 building/72 apartment units complex with 149 parking spaces, a community center for the complex and public sewer and public water, explaining that the property consisted of 29 acres, 19 of which are being considered for a conservation easement leaving 10 acres to be built-out (7 disturbed; 3 left wooded - primarily along Pawling Road). Mr. Diemer went on to say that his client, Mr. Nolen, is in receipt of the Township Engineer’s review letter of September 12, 2014 and would now be seeking certain waivers from the Schuylkill Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. Mr. Diemer proceeded to discuss the eleven waivers being requested.

Section 401.C.1d – From Locating Individual Trees on the Site and Section 401.D.15 – From Locating Individual Trees to Remain. Mr. Diemer said that the site is completely wooded and a conservation easement is being placed over 19.02 acres; the site was walked with the Township’s Environmental Advisory Council and it was determined there are no trees of significance in the area of proposed construction.

Section 401.D.15 – From Locating Individual Trees to Remain. Mr. Diemer said that the site is completely wooded and a conservation easement is being placed over 19.02 acres; the site was walked with the Township’s Environmental Advisory Council and it was determined there are no trees of significance in the area of proposed construction.
Ms. Majewski asked Mr. Diemer about the Township’s Environmental Advisory Council’s comments on what it considered to be the incompleteness of the environmental impact study for the project site. Mr. Diemer responded that the impact study was being revised and would be resubmitted.

Section 502.B .4.d & 502.e.7 – From Providing a Minimum 3% Grade within 50’ from any Intersection. The proposed intersection is graded at 5% for the first 40 feet and then transitions to 10%. This waiver is being requested to limit the amount of earth disturbance associated with the construction of Conservation Drive. This area is completely wooded and this proposed grading also reduces the amount of tree removal.
Mrs. Cohen asked the Township Engineer if this was a waiver he recommended being approved. Mr. Sartor responded that this waiver had been recommended by the Township Planning Commission in 2010; a number of waivers were entertained by the Planning Commission a few years ago, and six were entertained by the Planning Commission two weeks ago. Mrs. Cohen explained she was trying to clarify the requests due to the length of time Mr. Nolen has been trying to bring this project forward.

Section 504.A – From Providing a Sidewalk along Pawling Road. The construction of a sidewalk would involve the removal of a great number of trees and require a significant amount of grading; adding to the number of trees removed. Mr. Diemer mentioned that at present there are no sidewalks along Pawling Road and, based on the comments made earlier in the evening, it does not appear the adjacent residents want a sidewalk on Pawling Road.
Mr. Brennan asked what was the length of the sidewalk for which the waiver is being requested. Mr. Diemer responded that it would be about 1,600 feet. Mr. Brennan asked Mr. Nolan what the cost of a 1,600 foot sidewalk would be; Mr. Nolan responded that it would require a significant amount of clearing and grading to construct a sidewalk. Discussion ensued regarding school bus pickups and stormwater management.

Section 518.D.3. – From Grading and Earth Disturbance within the Right of Way (“ROW”). Grading is required within the right of way to access the site. Additional grading on site complies with the 5’ setback requirement. Plan has been revised to no disturbance within 5’ of the property line.

Section 503.B.1. – From Providing Stopping Area 20’ behind Right of Way Exceeding 4%. The proposed intersection is graded at 5% for the first 40 feet and then transitions to 10%. This waiver is being requested to limit the amount of earth disturbance associated with the construction of Conservation Drive. This area is completely wooded and this proposed grading also reduces the amount of tree removal. Mr. Diemer said this dovetails with the waiver requested for Section 502.B .4.d & 502.e.7 discussed earlier.

Section 514.B.1 – From Showing Existing Vegetation with a Caliper of 2” or More. - The site is completely wooded and a conservation easement is being placed over 19.02 acres; the site was walked with the Township’s Environmental Advisory Council and it was determined there are no trees of significance in the area of proposed construction. Mr. Diemer said this goes along with the waiver requested for 401.C.1d and 401.D.15.

Section 520.G. – From Preparing A Vegetation Preservation Plan – similar to waivers requested above under Sections 401.C.1d., 401.D.15, and 514.B.1.

Section 504.B – From Providing Granite Curbs – All roads and parking lots are to be privately owned and maintained. Mr. Diemer stated that concrete curbs are being proposed.
Mr. Morrisson clarified that granite curbs are required on private roads under the Township’s land development ordinance. Mr. Diemer replied he understood this but wanted to point out that the Township would have no responsibility for curb maintenance; that it would all fall under the homeowners association.

Mr. Sartor recommended that Mr. Diemer discuss the Planning Commission’s recommendation for a partial waiver on granite curbing; that being concrete curb for the interior portion of the driveway with granite curb on the 35’ radius of the driveway at the Pawling Road entrance. Mr. Morrisson disagreed with the recommendation stating that this would lose the continuity of granite curbing throughout the proposed complex. Mr. Sartor mentioned that the Planning Commission’s recommendation for the proposed apartment complex is completely opposite to the curbing layout at Revolutionary Boulevard where there is concrete curbing in the right of way which transitions to granite curbing within the development.

Section 503.C.3 – Because a Waiver is Being Requested from 503.B.1. – The proposed intersection is graded at 5% for the first 40 feet and then transitions to 10%. This waiver is being requested to limit the amount of earth disturbance associated with the construction of Conservation Drive. This area is completely wooded and this proposed grading also reduces the amount of tree removal.

Partial Waiver from Section 514.D.4 – From Locating the Required Street Trees Elsewhere on the Property – This waiver request is for the location of the street trees only. The required trees will be planted elsewhere on the site. As stated above, the site is wooded right up to Pawling Road and there is no room to plant the required street trees along Pawling Road.
Mr. Morrisson mentioned that in regards to the waivers regarding trees and vegetation, the EAC is generally in agreement but that there were concerns surrounding the species of trees proposed to be planted near the buildings. Mr. Jerry O’Dell, Chair of the EAC, came up with a list of preferred trees. Mr. Diemer responded that he was in receipt of this list and Mr. Nolen would agree to replace the species per Mr. O’Dell’s list.

Mr. Brennan posed some questions to Mr. Nolan and Mr. Diemer. First, Mr. Brennan said a homeowners association was referenced as having some responsibilities for maintenance of stormwater management facilities and such. Mr. Brennan said the preliminary plan being presented is for a rental community and it is not clear how renters will be assessed and/or pay to be part of a homeowners association. Mr. Brennan asked if renters refuse to be part of a homeowners association, would the maintenance responsibilities fall back on the property owner. Mr. Nolan responded that if it is a rental community, the property owner would be responsible. Mr. Brennan inquired if there was some chance that this would be a condominium community rather than a rental. Mr. Nolan said there is a chance it will be a condominium. Mr. Brennan inquired if this could be clarified now. Mr. Nolan responded no but suggested the agreement could be made subject to whether it is a private owner or a condominium association; maintenance responsibilities would fall on either the owner or the association. Mr. Brennan then asked Mr. Nolan if he would develop the property himself or if he planned to sell it. Mr. Nolan responded he did not know; it’s been five years in the approval process and he wasn’t sure which direction he would go. Ms. Majewski asked if Mr. Nolan would have a decision on whether the property would be rentals or condominiums for the final plan. Mr. Nolan responded yes. Mr. Brennan asked if Mr. Nolan was aware of subdivision requirements for condominiums; Mr. Nolan said he was aware of the requirements.

Mr. Brennan referred to the preliminary plan drawing, noting that a conservation easement is shown on the plan even though no agreement has yet been reached between Schuylkill Township and The Nolen Company concerning any easement. Mr. Brennan noted the acquisition process is complicated and takes time, and asked what happens if the conservation easement acquisition is not approved, or if the preparation of the final development plan and the conservation easement are not in sync.

Mr. Nolan stated his opinion that he was just looking for preliminary plan approval at this point to ensure that everyone was on the same page as far as waivers, etc., were concerned. Mr. Brennan did not agree, saying that in his opinion, preliminary plan approval is the final but for the cleanup required; once preliminary approval is achieved, a property can be developed. Mr. Morrisson noted that there were a large number of significant open issues in the Gilmore & Associates, Inc. September 12, 2014 (File No. 09-07091T) review letter. Mr. Brennan advised that at least the majority of the outstanding issues should be resolved prior to preliminary plan approval.

Discussion ensued regarding sidewalks and the proposed trail on the Nolen property with several additional Meadows residents voicing their opposition to both.

Mr. Diemer said that Mr. Nolan is willing to work with the Township and the Meadows residents on the trail placement; at this point it is only conceptual. Mr. Brennan said that the decision on whether the trail is removed completely or does not connect to the Meadows will be made by the Board of Supervisors.

Motion. On a motion by Mr. Parry, seconded by Mrs. Cohen and passed, the Board of Supervisors directed the Township Solicitor to prepare and circulate to the Board three versions of a resolution containing the Valley Forge Meadows, Inc. (Nolan) preliminary plan issues discussed at the October 1, 2014 Supervisors’ meeting; said resolution(s) to be addressed at the November 5, 2014 Board of Supervisors meeting.

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