Minutes of March 3, 2021 – Planning Commission

Minutes of March 3, 2021

Members Present:   Karen Krater, Mervin Horst, Craig Thompson, Rich Brandt

Members Absent:    Donald Leibig

Minutes: Feb.3, 2021 – Accepted as written ; Motion by CT, second by MH

Reports:  KK reported on meeting held Feb.25,2021 at Lebanon County Planning Dept. regarding the Bethany Subdivision request to defer stormwater management soil testing & design for individual lots to such time that the individual lots are developed.

Business:

  1. Bethany Subdivision: located on north side of Bethany Road in the E-1 (Environmentally Sensitive) Zoning District. Jack Keener, property owner and Chuck Frantz of C2C Design Group (project consultants/engineers) presented project. Barb Smith, 93 Bethany Rd., neighbor/resident, also in attendance.

Property is 145 Ac +/- of predominantly wooded land and significant areas of steep slopes.  The property was the former site of the sand quarry for North American Refractory Brick plant.  The subdivision proposes 16 lots ranging in size from 4 AC – 24AC.

A private road proposed from Bethany Rd. for lots located at lower elevations.  A shared driveway access easement proposed for upper elevation lots.  Lot 5 is landlocked and purparts utilized as existing lots.

An emergency access drive is proposed through site to Sheridan Rd in area of Ft. Zellers Rd. intersection.

Mr. Keener has met with Fire Co. to discuss. A Homeowner’s Assoc. proposed for maintenance of roads and emergency accessway.

Public sewer proposed for lower elevation lots, on-lot sewage systems for upper elevation lots. All lots shall have on-lot water.

Stormwater Management: Required soil testing and design proposed for only road and accessways now. This is a deviation from standard subdivision approval procedure.

Applicant requesting that individual lot stormwater management be deferred to individual lot owners to complete prior to issuance of a building permit; when it is known where house, drive, etc. locations are proposed. Applicant suggests notes on recorded plans, deed restrictions and/or covenants as possible methods to ensure compliance.

Erosion and Sediment Control:  Proposed would follow same deferral as Stormwater Management request.  A NPDES permit would be obtained from PADEP/Lebanon County Conservation District for road and accessways only now. Future individual lot owners would be required to obtain a NPDES permit for earth disturbance regardless of amount of earth disturbance- even earth disturbance less than 1 AC would require a NPDES permit.  This is also a deviation from standard procedure but appears supported by Lebanon County Conservation District.

Mr.Keener was amicable to any/all suggestions made and indicated preservation of mountain and trees important to him also. He suggested notes on recorded plans, deed restrictions and/or covenants as possible methods to ensure compliance for present and future land owners.

Planning Commission comments/recommendations to Board of Supervisors:

  1. Proposed lot layout must be finalized first. Some lots proposed have no street frontage and not in conformance with zoning ordinance. Recommend Solicitor review status of purparts included in overall deed of property and validity as individual lots.
  2. Shared driveway access to several lots – do not believe in accordance with ordinance requirements. Shared access to multiple properties burdensome and an unattractive condition for marketability of these lots and also confusing for emergency responders.
  3. Preserve slopes and trees highest priority to protect watershed, water quality, groundwater recharge of aquifer, and protection of downslope properties. Zoning ordinance Section 13.05 limits clearing of land to 15%. Recommend preserving ridgeline/higher & steeper elevations.  Suggested possibilities are purchase by Lebanon County Conservancy of these areas or permanent conservation easements.
  1. Deferrals of individual lot stormwater and erosion & sediment control – although the reasoning supporting the deferrals is understood the enforcement of conditions, stormwater management and NPDES requirements is a major concern. Protection of watershed and downslope properties highest priority – we do not want to allow these requirements to “slip through the cracks”.  No recommendation to be made until lot layout finalized and further discussion with County Engineer, Lebanon County Planning Department, Lebanon County Conservation District and Solicitor John Enck to determine if a deferral is even viable and what methods might be of use to ensure compliance by present and future land owners.
  2. Emergency access- Refer to National Fire Code for specifications – Recommend at a minimum must be able to support the heaviest emergency equipment, full tanker trucks, be wide enough for trucks/vehicles to pass or have pullovers for this purpose, and establish maintenance requirements, including snow removal and how to limit access. Township emergency services may have additional requirements. All of above should be in form of a written/executed agreement between all concerned parties.

Correspondence:

Nestle Water Co. notice that all north American water facilities have been sold which includes facility in Millcreek Township.  Recommend Board of Supervisors send letter to new owners to acknowledge the transition and advise/inform/remind them that our zoning ordinance Section13.02.F prohibits the extraction of water.

Building Permits: (as attached)

Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 8:35PM, Next meeting scheduled for April 7, 2021 at 7pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen M. Krater