7:30 PM
April 14, 2009

A Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Salisbury was held on the above date at the Township Municipal Building located at 2900 South Pike Avenue, Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Present were Commissioners Beck, McKitish, Hebelka, Schreiter, Hassick and Snyder. Also present were Mr. Tettemer, representative of the Township Engineer; Attorney Ashley, Township Solicitor; and Ms. Sopka, Director of Planning & Zoning.

Mr. Beck called the meeting to order.

On motion of Mr. McKitish, seconded by Mr. Hassick, the Planning Commission voted 5-0-1 to approve the March 10, 2009 Planning Commission Meeting Minutes as submitted. Mr. McKitish abstained.

Continuation of Review of 3103 West Emmaus Avenue Site Plan according to §27-117.1.C – Conversion of a Principle Residential Building to a Principle Non-Residential Use as A&H Sporting Goods.

Present were Tim Charlesworth, Esq., counsel for applicant, and Stan Shelosky, engineer.

Mr. Tettemer highlighted the Township Engineer’s review letter dated April 8, 2009.

Mr. Beck inquired whether the applicant received letters of approval from the City of Allentown or the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

Attorney Charlesworth explained that a deferral is being requested to the requirement to install sidewalks along Emmaus Avenue for the reason that they would be too costly for the applicant and having to obtain the necessary PennDOT approvals.

Mr. Schreiter noted that the plan indicates a buffer placed between the parking lot and the alley to eliminate the use of the alley since residents had raised concerns.

Atty. Charlesworth noted that the entrance is proposed for strictly off of the street.

Mr. McKitish inquired about whether the handicap ramp would be in the PennDOT right-of-way and clarifying whether additional PennDOT approvals are necessary relating to the sidewalks since they are already in the process of obtaining a permit from PennDOT. He noted that the City of Allentown requires sidewalks along 31st Street and a handicap ramp at the intersection of 31st Street and Emmaus Avenue. Therefore, the sidewalks should continue sixty feet along Emmaus Ave.

Scott Horvath of 3118 Capital Street inquired how they propose to address left-turns into the lot or left-turns out.

Mr. Beck explained that 31st Street is a City of Allentown road and the Township does not have decision-making authority over the road.

Mr. Beck commented that the applicant should continue the sidewalk from 31st Street around to Emmaus Avenue to sixty feet.

Attorney Charlesworth explained that there was a March 20, 2009 letter with two waivers and one deferral requested.

On motion of Mr. Schreiter, seconded by Mr. McKitish, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend granting both Waivers to SALDO Section 3.2.A.3 (to proceed as a preliminary/final plan) and SALDO Section 5.3.D.3 (manmade features).

Mr. McKitish suggested that if a deferral were granted, it could include conditions that if the main entrance to the structure were to be on the Emmaus Avenue side, then sidewalks would have to be installed and the Site plan should have a note indicating such when it is recorded.

Mr. Snyder made a Motion to recommend granting the deferral to SALDO Section 10.12 (sidewalks), seconded by Mr. McKitish. The Planning Commission voted 3-3 and the Motion did not pass. Messrs. Schreiter, McKitish, and Beck voted no.

On motion of Mr. Schreiter, seconded by Mr. Snyder, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the 3103 West Emmaus Avenue Preliminary/Final Site Plan, subject to the applicant addressing the Township Engineer’s review letter and obtaining all applicable Federal, State, or local permits and approvals.

Consideration of the Conditional Use Application of property located at 3350 Devonshire Road, Allentown, PA 18103 for seasonal Halloween attractions.

Present were Steve Goudsouzian, Esquire, counsel; and Dominic Giles, owner.

Mr. Tettemer highlighted the comments in the Township Engineer review letter dated April 8, 2009.

There was clarification on the Township Engineer’s review letter referencing 1847 Nottingham Rd which is the applicant home residence. The letter should have referenced 3350 Devonshire Road.

Ms. Sopka noted that she had also prepared a memo clarifying the subject site location and that the application was submitted to the Police Department and Fire Departments for comments.

Attorney Ashley explained that the Planning Commission could take such comments from the police and fire departments into consideration as they apply to public safety.

Mr. Beck inquired if the applicant received a letter from the School District for parking arrangements.

Mr. McKitish asked several questions in clarifying the specific dates and time frame for the conditional use activity that would be granted. He noted that if there were other occasions in the future that the applicant would like to conduct events, such as for the Fourth of July, then the applicant would have to submit another conditional use application.

Mr. Hebelka inquired about capacity of the building and the amount of traffic anticipated.

Mr. Tettemer noted that there should be an occupancy limit as part of the building permit.

Mr. Giles noted that generally during the Halloween season, one can anticipate approximately 1,000 attendees, but they have ample parking from the School District at their use.

Mr. Beck expressed a concern that the nearby cemetery isn’t impacted or damage and suggested having traffic control. He suggested having temporary stop signs to help with traffic.

Mr. Hebelka inquired if food would be sold.

Mr. Giles commented that they would sell some minor snack items in the future.

There was a discussion around the length of time for the approval, whether for the Halloween season in one or two years, in order to see how it works out and then possibly a longer period of time. Mr. McKitish inquired if the applicant made sure there were no scheduled conflicts with the School District.

Mr. McKitish inquired if the applicant had discussed the proposal with the church there. Mr. Giles indicated that he had not informed the church. He assured that they will take measures to keep the school safe and the church property safe as well.

Mr. Giles noted that they would shut down operations by midnight and the doors would be closed earlier. His demographics that he is targeting are ages 12 – 25. He noted the possibility of younger children for earlier in the day.

Mr. Snyder expressed his concerns with safety for the children and the possibility of loitering and nuisance to neighbors, particularly until midnight.

Attorney Goudsouzian requested that they receive a favorable approval so that they would move forward to obtain the other outside approvals.

Mr. Beck noted that they would rather know what the Fire Department and Police Department are requiring and have the matter brought back to the Planning Commission before they make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners. Mr. McKitish agreed with Mr. Beck.

No action taken. The consensus of the Planning Commission members was to defer the decision on the conditional use application and have the applicant discuss the project with the fire and police departments and the church.

Ms. Sopka informed the Planning Commission members that she received information from the Lehigh County Authority regarding the replacement of water meters under the H2O PA program. She stated that LCA will be putting in water meters that are radio-read capable.

Ms. Sopka also noted a letter was received requesting an extension of time for the Samuel M. Gentile Minor Subdivision.

Mr. Tettemer noted that the extension would be for the Improvements Agreement.

There was a brief discussion about whether the Planning Commission would have authority to make a determination on an extension request for an improvements agreement.

Mr. Tettemer sited that there are three options that can occur for an improvements agreement.

1. secure the improvements
2. build the improvements before recording the plan or
3. continue to extend the approval of the plan without securing or building the improvements when the economy improves.

Consensus of the Planning Commission members was to have the solicitor review the appropriate procedure for such a matter.

Ms. Sopka informed the members that the Environmental Advisory Committee will be conducting its first meeting on April 20, 2009. She also noted that there have been steep slope and wetland buffer model guidelines that were recently developed by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and recommended implementing changes to the Township’s SALDO.

A discussion ensued on reviewing and amending the overall SALDO and having the new SALDO adopted after each section has been reviewed. Mr. McKitish recalled the last full rework of the SALDO occurred back in 1997 although there have been sections that were modified recently.

Ms. Sopka noted that the Planning Commission would also need to make a formal recommendation to the Board of Commissioners to consider amending the Comprehensive Plan. She explained that she is also working on obtaining grants to fund this undertaking.

On motion of Mr. Schreiter, seconded by Mr. Hassick, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to make a recommendation to proceed with updating the Comprehensive Plan.

On motion of Mr. McKitish, seconded by Mr. Hassick, the Planning Commission voted to adjourn the meeting.

Meeting adjourned.