TOWNSHIP OF SALISBURY
LEHIGH COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

MINUTES FROM THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MEETING – 7:30 PM
April 13, 2006

The Public Meeting of the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners was held on the above date in the Township Municipal Building located at 2900 South Pike Avenue, Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

Members attending:
Larry Unger, President
Rodger Schmoyer, Jr., Vice-President
James Brown
Kent Herman
Robert Martucci, Jr.

Staff attending:
Gabriel Khalife, Township Manager
Carl Best, Director of Planning & Zoning
John Andreas, Director of Public Works
John Ashley, Township Solicitor
David Tettemer, representative of Keystone Consulting Engineers, Township Engineer

CALL TO ORDER
Commissioner Unger called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

NOTIFICATION
Mr. Khalife informed the attendees that all sessions of the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners regular meetings are being electronically recorded for the purpose of taking the Minutes. All public comments on agenda items will be taken at the time of the vote. All public comments related to non-agenda items will be taken after the agenda has been satisfied.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS
On motion of Commissioner Brown, seconded by Commissioner Herman, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize payment of the bills.

MINUTES
March 23, 2006

Commissioner Unger declared the March 23, 2006 Board of Commissioners Meeting Minutes approved as submitted.

ORDINANCES
None.

PROCLAMATION
To designate the month of April, 2006 as Volunteer Month.

Commissioner Unger noted that a presentation is scheduled for April 19, 2006 to recognize volunteers in the community.

On motion of Commissioner Schmoyer, seconded by Commissioner Martucci, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to proclaim the month of April, 2006 as Volunteer Month.

RESOLUTIONS
Consideration of resolutions to recognize the following volunteers for their community service and efforts:

  • Sharon Dougherty
  • James Railing
  • Joshua Wells
  • Keith Snyder
  • Cara Steidel
  • Thomas Cunningham, Sr. (posthumously)
  • Kevin Urban
  • Christian and Barbara Showalter
  • Deana Zovsky

Each commissioner spoke briefly about the recognition program and how people were nominated.

On motion of Commissioner Schmoyer, seconded by Commissioner Brown, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolutions concurrently to recognize the above-listed individuals for their volunteer service and efforts.

Consideration of a resolution to approve the Center Square Associates Final Land Development Plan.

Present were Emil Kantra, counsel; Dave Weaver, Boller Engineer; and John Pine, traffic engineer.

Attorney Kantra explained that the project was previously approved by the Board as a gas station/convenience store and retail space. He explained that the reason they went through a second approval process was to change the lot on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Cedar Crest Boulevard to a proposed Embassy Bank.

Commissioner Unger inquired about the ingress and egress for the property.

Mr. Tettemer noted that there are several minor waivers and deferrals that are requested.

Mr. Andreas commented that the plans for the roadway improvements would be reviewed by PennDOT and would be included with the roadway improvements for Lehigh Valley Hospital for the corridor from Lincoln Avenue through Fish Hatchery Road.

Attorney Kantra explained that the previously-approved plan would be withdrawn upon the approval of the new proposed plan.

On motion of Commissioner Martucci, seconded by Commissioner Schmoyer, voted unanimously to conditionally approve the Center Square Associates Final Land Development Plan.

MOTIONS
Consideration of a request for reduction of the Letter of Credit for the Yeker Farms Major Subdivision in the amount of $81,748.32.

Mr. Khalife noted that Mr. Best and the Township Engineer reviewed the work performed and the letter of request and both have indicated that they support the reduction.

Mr. Best explained that the improvements listed on the request sheet have been completed and Keystone Consulting Engineers continues to do the on-site inspections. He gave a brief update on the progress of the project.

On motion of Commissioner Schmoyer, seconded by Commissioner Brown, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the reduction of the Letter of Credit for the Yeker Farms Major Subdivision in the amount of $81,748.32.

Consideration of a motion to award Caddoo Home Improvements to construct a non-weight bearing wall at the District Justice Office ($1,380).

Mr. Khalife explained that the District Justice Office is looking to have installed a non-weight bearing wall for storage. He noted that the contractor would erect the wall and the finishing work would be performed in-house.

On motion of Commissioner Schmoyer, seconded by Commissioner Brown, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to award Caddoo Home Improvements to construct a non-weight bearing wall at the District Justice Office in the amount of $1,380

Consideration of a nomination for the Civil Service Commission (Fifth Ward – term expires 1/1/12).

Commissioner Herman nominated Jo Kraft to the Civil Service Commission. He briefly provided her background.

On motion of Commissioner Herman, seconded by Commissioner Schmoyer, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to appoint Jo Kraft to the Civil Service Commission.

Consideration of a motion to submit a letter of support for the Wildlands Conservancy grant application to acquire the James Hersch 10.5 acre parcel of land.

Mr. Khalife explained that the Hersch property is located on South Mountain and the Wildlands Conservancy is looking to acquire the property to retain it in its natural wooded state. He noted that they are not requesting funds from the Township.

On motion of Commissioner Schmoyer, seconded by Commissioner Brown, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize a letter of support for the Wildlands Conservancy’s grant application to acquire the James Hersch 10.5-acre parcel.

Consideration of a street tree removal request for 925 Chris Lane.

Mr. Best explained that both he and Mr. Andreas viewed the site and observed that Chris Lane is a tree-lined street. He explained that there are two trees on the lot that appear healthy, do not seem to be falling, and are not damaging a driveway. He recommended that the trees remain and should not be cut down.

On motion of Commissioner Schmoyer, seconded by Commissioner Martucci, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to deny the street tree removal request for 925 Chris Lane.

Consideration of a street tree removal request for 836 South Main Street.

Mr. Best noted that the tree was planted approximately 40 years ago by the developer. He went to the site and observed that the tree was in decay, infested with insects, as well as uprooting the sidewalk. He commented that there is one other street tree on the site and therefore he recommends removing the tree without replacement.

Commissioner Herman recommended that property owners be notified by Mr. Best of his recommendations prior to presentation to the Board.

On motion of Commissioner Brown, seconded by Commissioner Schmoyer, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a street tree removal request for 836 South Main Street.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Raymond Carlier of 2840 Dewalt Street expressed numerous concerns regarding a neighbor’s request for the Board of Commissioners to allow alpacas. He commented that alpacas should be treated as livestock. He raised a number of questions that should be considered with respect to the Deangelises proposal to raise alpacas. He commented that the matter should be treated as a zoning issue which should be clearly outlined and a site plan provided to the Township for consideration.

Commissioner Unger asked several questions about the Township’s ordinances regarding setbacks and whether a plan should be submitted for raising alpacas.
Mr. Best recommended seeing a plan with respect to the Deangelises’ request for the keeping of alpacas to enable the Board to base their decision on whether changes should be made to the ordinances. He explained that there are setbacks with respect to horses and outback structures.

Mr. Carlier continued to address his concerns regarding the alpacas such as clearing out trees in a conservation district, predator deterrents, and fire hazards.

Mr. Best noted that they are gathering information from surrounding municipalities on their livestock ordinances.

Mr. Khalife inquired about having the DeAngelises proceed through the Zoning Hearing Board for approval or whether to have the Board of Commissioners change the ordinances.

There was a brief discussion regarding possible areas of the Township’s ordinances that would need to be changed.

Attorney Ashley explained that the Board would need to determine how strictly these types of activities should be controlled or restricted. He noted that by not having anything in the ordinances, these types of decisions would be left to the Zoning Hearing Board to determine. As board members change in the years ahead, there is always the chance that these activities could be allowed in the future.

The notification process for zoning issues was discussed. Mr. Carlier commented that the Board would be mistaken to approve such matters without a plan and without considering the effects on the adjacent property owners. Issues were brought up on whether breeding alpacas and selling them is a commercial business. Mr. Carlier continued to raise a number of issues regarding the raising of alpacas.

Rick Zongora of Maple Avenue expressed his concerns regarding a property that City Line Construction recently developed on Maple Avenue and the portion of alley that was opened. He commented that he wanted the complete road opened and to have public water installed. He stated that if City Line does not help to complete the work done to the road, he would take his equipment and remove a berm that is causing stormwater runoff problems.

Commissioner Martucci commented that he observed an erosion problem due to stormwater runoff when he visited the area.

Mr. Best explained that City Line was to regrade the road, but was prevented when the road was obstructed by some of the neighbors.

Mr. Zongora asked for the Board’s assistance to get the road opened and resolve the water runoff issues.

Commissioner Schmoyer commented that the matter is private and the Board should not get involved.

Commissioner Herman recommended having the Township Solicitor review the matter to determine if there was an enforcement issue that was triggered by any improper land development that the Township should act on.

Mr. Zongora commented that within 30 days, the berm would go away and that the elevation of the road needs to be addressed since City Line made it much higher than it originally had been. He expressed his displeasure in the way the zoning office handled the matter.

Commissioner Martucci suggested that changes be made to have grading plans required when individual properties are to be developed.

Chris Aungst of 1605 Graham Street commented that too much land was disturbed and trees removed to extend Maple Avenue to the new home as opposed to coming in from Public Road. He invited the Board to take a look.

Kathy Martucci of Maple Avenue expressed her concerns about damage to a berm on her property.

There was a brief discussion regarding trees that were removed from Mr. Zongora’s lots incorrectly prior to the new home that was constructed.

Mr. Khalife commented that he understood Mr. Zongora was compensated for the trees by City Line. Mr. Zongora responded that this was correct.

A consensus was made that Attorney Ashley would look into this matter further

OTHER BUSINESS
Commissioner Martucci informed the Board that he received a complaint by a resident regarding activities on a property located on Forest Drive by Mr. Zongora.

Mr. Best stated that notices were sent out that morning regarding the complaint.

ADJOURNMENT
As no other business was presented, the meeting was adjourned. The Board of Commissioners went into Workshop.