7:30 PM
October 13, 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: Mr. Beck, Mr. McKitish, Mr. Hebelka, Mr. Schreiter, Mr. Hassick, and Dr. Licht; please note Mr. Snyder was not present. Also present were Mr. Tettemer, Representative of the Township Engineer; Attorney John Ashley, Township Solicitor; Mr. Soriano, Township Manager and Ms. Sopka, Director of Planning & Zoning.

Mr. Beck called the meeting to order.

With respect to the minutes of September 8, 2009, Mr. McKitish addressed the fact that questions were asked of the County Corrections facility to clarify the type of treatment provided and to whom received such at the facility. This documentation was not been reflected in the minutes. Therefore the Planning Commission voted unanimously to table approval of the September 8, 2009 minutes until next months meeting. Mr. Snyder was not present for vote.

1601 33rd Street SW – Devonshire Park Apartments

Waiver request to SALDO Section 10, Requirement of Improvements such as Open Space, Recreation Areas and Fees further established by Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners Resolution 07-2007-1253 – amending fees and providing definitions regarding the type of dwelling units subjected to this requirement.

Mr. Jay Musselman, Engineer, was present on behalf of Mr. Leroy Kean, owner of Devonshire Park Apartments.

Mr. Musselman highlighted a brief history of the project over the last two years and provided a print of the property for review. It referenced  the proposed 37 unit building for “age restricted” 55 year and older tenants, the proposed parking area and the existing 7 ½ acres of open space located in Salisbury Township as required by agreement  with the City of Allentown regarding land development dating back to 1965.

Mr. Musselman requested a waiver for the recreation fee for the open space noting Mr. Tettemer’s letters referencing this requirement but was never addressed by the previous planning director such as amount required.  In addition, conditional approval was received by the Board of Commissioners without a specific amount mentioned or without a waiver request.

Following the Conditional Approval the project was delayed due to ongoing negotiations with DEP, LCCD and the Township regarding storm water detention requirements, specifically the impervious liner on the detention pond.

Ms. Sopka’s address of the recreation fee requirement referenced the Board of Commissioners Resolution 07-2007-1253 whereas it is stated that either the land is dedicated to the Township or the recreation fees would be considered. She stated she reviewed the site plans dating back several years and historically the letters from Mr. Tettemer always referenced the requirement of the recreation fee.

Ms. Sopka further provided reference to the Board of Commissioners Conditional Approval in Resolution 09-2007-1257 where the fee is not specifically addressed but defers the developer to comply with the comments and recommendations of Keystone Consulting Engineer’s letter dated 09/07/2007, which states recreation fee’s will be required for this development.

Mr. Musselman stated that Mr. Kean does not wish to entertain the dedication of land. He has maintained ownership of the land and pool at his rental development since the Conditional Approval from the City of Allentown in 1965.

Mr. Musselman referenced SALDO section 10.17.F.2 relative to a rental development maintaining ownership of the common open space.  Additionally, Mr. Musselman indicated the review of correspondence and past minutes relative to this project he observed Mr. Hebelka advising notations regarding the Allentown Green Space to be made on the plan, however the note regarding was apparently missed. Mr. Hebelka stated that the note was to reflect that the condition was already on the land since 1965.

Mr. McKitish clarified that the Planning Commission acts as a recommending body for the Board of Commissioners who determine the final decision.

Mr. Beck reiterated the area they are recommending has already been granted as an open space per the agreement between the City of Allentown and the Developer recorded in 1965. Therefore, this should remain open space as stated under the original construction. Mr. Beck stated the current recreation fee requirement applies for each dwelling located within the Township of Salisbury.

Mr. McKitish inquired as to the current number of established dwelling units located on the property as it must be put into context for comparison of the proposed 37 units at 2000 sq. ft. into a few dedicated acres, which will be taken away to create these units.

Mr. Musselman clarified they are not encroaching upon the open space. He reviewed the property print showing the location that is in agreement with the City of Allentown.

Mr. Mussellman advised Mr. McKitish that he did not have an exact number of existing dwelling units for the Planning Commission but would obtain this information.  Mr. McKitish further recommended Mr. Mussellman to gather all information including the number of dwelling units and go before the Board of Commissioners for the waiver to the recreation fee.

Mr. Beck referenced that the Ordinance states a fee must be paid per dwelling unit and the issue is the amount per unit.  Mr. Beck believes a motion must be made for the dollar figure for the recreation fees.

Mr. Licht agreed with Ms. Sopka’s letter which recommends $850 per unit as opposed to $1,500 per unit. Ms. Sopka clarified the Resolution was adopted in 2007 and the current project was initiated prior to that date. In addition, the Resolution does specify apartments and condominiums and there is not segregation of “age restricted” housing.

Mr. Musselman inquired what the exact recreation fee would be for this development.   Mr. Tettemer stated that the preliminary plan was submitted under the $850 fee per unit, therefore this would be the amount pertaining to this development.

On motion of Mr. McKitish, seconded by Mr. Hebelka, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the Board of Commissioners the denial of the request for a waiver from Salisbury Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance recreation fee.  There were no objectors.

1860 East Emmaus Avenue – Crossroads Baptist Church

Continuation of Land Development Plan Review for the expansion of the auditorium and parking area for the Church and Lot Consolidation of two parcels – Pin No. 641677798384-1 (1.103 acres) and Pin No. 6416777708571 (0.94 acre). Request waivers to SALDO 3.2 – Preliminary / Final Plan Submission: SALDO 10.12 – Curb and Sidewalks; SALDO 10.16 – Stree Trees, and SALDO 5.3.F.2 – Contours on Adjacent Land within 500 ft.

Present were Pastor Gary Becker; Pastor Don Phillips and Bob Hoppes, Engineer and Surveyor. 

Mr. Tettemer highlighted the Township Engineer’s review letter dated October 7, 2009.

Ms. Sopka highlighted her comments listed in a memo dated September 4, 2009.

Ms. Sopka clarified that the lot consolidation process was going to be addressed.
Ms. Sopka referenced tree planting under the Zoning Ordinance. Three trees are allowed to be removed within one year. Per review, she stated this project will require at least five trees to be removed within the parking and addition area. Therefore, there is a deficit of two trees.

Ms. Sopka referenced the requirement of any lot that includes 25 parking spaces shall be required to have landscaped areas. In addition, under 27-603.C, it requires one deciduous tree shall be required for every 3,000 sq. ft. of paved area. Therefore, her recommendation would be based on the calculation of how many trees to be planted upon the 18,000 sq. ft. to add an additional two trees which would make up for the deficit.

Ms. Sopka concurred with the Township Engineer’s requirements on buffer plantings to protect residential properties of headlights. This type of screening is required to have a minimum height of four feet and depending upon topography may require eight feet of screening.

Mr. Tettemer indicated landscaping will also be required inside the parking area and further clarified the Zoning Ordinance requires an interior grass island with shade tree to be placed within the parking area.

Mr. Hoppes indicated he would work out the required landscaping and buffer screening with Ms. Sopka and Mr. Tettemer.  The plan is proposing the use of 4’ high arborvitaes to aid in the buffer screening.

Mr. McKitish stated the importance for the barrier between the headlights and adjacent residential property. Mr. Tettemer indicated the screening must be dense enough to meet the Zoning requirement and should also be referenced on the plan.

Mr. Tettemer stated a screen barrier on the north side of the parking will not be required if the project is more than 150 feet from a dwellings.

The following waivers and deferrals were requested by Mr. Hoppes:

  1. Waiver for the preliminary and final plan submission due to the size and scope of the project.
  2. Deferral for the sidewalk and curbing requirements, stating there is no curb or sidewalk existing on the eastern portion of E. Emmaus Avenue.
  3. Deferral of street trees because of the site triangle on East Emmaus Avenue, the driveway, and the close proximity of the existing church to the front of the property line.

Mr. Hoppes concluded that all drafting changes will be done.

On motion of Mr. McKitish, seconded by Mr. Hassick, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to except the waiver and deferral requests to SALDO 3.2 separate preliminary and final plan, SALDO 5.3.F.2.H show contours and adjacent land within 500 feet, SALDO 10.12 curbs and sidewalks and SALDO 10.16 street trees.

On motion of Mr. McKitish, seconded by Mr. Licht, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to table final plan approval until the November 10th meeting.


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