7:30 PM
November 10, 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, Hebelka, Schreiter, Hassick, Licht and Snyder. Commissioner McKitish was not present. Also present were Mr. Tettemer, Township Engineer; Attorney Ashley, Township Solicitor; Mr. Soriano, Township Manager and Ms. Sopka, Director of Planning & Zoning.

Mr. Beck called the meeting to order.

On motion of Mr. Licht, seconded by Hassick, the Planning Commission voted 5-1-1 to approve the September 8, 2009 and October 13, 2009 Planning Commission Meeting Minutes as submitted. Mr. Snyder abstained. Mr. McKitish was not present for vote.

1860 East Emmaus Avenue – Crossroads Baptist Church
Review request for time extension of Preliminary/Final Plan from 90-day review period that ends on December 7, 2009.

Mr. Hebelka stated that the developer is offering the Planning Commission a time extension and we are accepting that offer.

The developer is offering a 90-day extension for Preliminary/Final Plan with original end date of December 7, 2009. The time extension includes 90 days from original review ending on December 7, 2009.

On motion of Mr. Schreiter, seconded by Mr. Hassick the Planning Commission voted to accept the developer/applicant’s 90-day time extension associated with the land development scheduled to end on December 7, 2009 but is now extended to March 2010. Motion passed by unanimous voice vote. Mr. McKitish was not present for vote.

1600 Riverside Drive – Lehigh County Treatment Center Expansion
Review Land Development Site Plan and Conditional Use Application required for Treatment Center / Work Release Facility Expansion. Site is located in the Industrial (I) Zoning District; once served as minimum security prison and currently serves as a Work Release Facility / Treatment Center as declared by the Salisbury Township Zoning Hearing Board on November 7, 1995.

Present were Al Comly, Architect; Edward J. Andres, Esquire, counsel; Amit Mukherjee of Base Engineering; Glenn D. Solt, Director of Lehigh County Capital Projects; and Edward Sweeney, Director of Lehigh County Corrections.
Mr. Tettemer highlighted the Township Engineer’s review letter dated November 3, 2009.

Ms. Sopka highlighted her comment review and concurred with the Township Engineer’s letter.

Ms. Sopka addressed the wetland delineation in regard to the soils mapping the area of the project, as it is apparent that streams and/or wetlands are present in that area. Ms. Sopka is requesting more descriptive information relative to the wetland delineation in accordance with the guidelines described in Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) Technical Guidelines for wetland delineations.

Ms. Sopka reviewed Zoning Ordinance 504, Flood Plain areas and inquired if resubmission will take place for a current flood plain elevation certificate, due to the fact the existing one expired on 2/28/2009. Mr. Mukherjee stated that a new certificate will be made available.

Ms. Sopka inquired if the PNDI search indicating the potential impacted areas was addressed. Mr. Hebelka noted that the PNDI does not release actual location in attempts to protect the areas. Mr. Mukherjee advised that it was submitted and clearance was received from DCNR.

Mr. Sweeney reviewed and addressed the Township Engineers comments.

Mr. Sweeney addressed the double fencing and stated it will be restructured into single fencing to the front and sides of the building. The single fencing is not used for security purposes but the remainder of the fence will stay as double fencing.

Discussion occurred regarding the description of the security system and how the property is maintained. Mr. Sweeney stated the facility is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week. There is an electronic gate system located in the front of the building that is remote controlled from the officer’s station. He did clarify that residents are allowed to leave daily for work.

Furthermore, the facility staff incorporates the following: the Superintendent, Sergeant, five Caseworkers for mental health, Correction Officer staffing consists of three (3) persons on day shift, four (4) persons on middle shift and three (3) on night shift. Staffing will be expanded by one (1) officer on each shift for the female population. Twenty-two staff members are employed but no more than fourteen staff members are present at one time.

Mr. Hebelka inquired if input was received from the Township’s Chief of Police. Ms. Sopka highlighted Chief Stiles’ letter dated September 9, 2009. The letter recommends widening and paving of a patrol pathway, improved and maintained perimeter security lighting, and a complete “as built plan” be provided to the department for the safety of Police Officers observing the property.

In respect to the approved Conditional Use from the Board of Commissioners, the developer is seeking recommendation from the Planning Commission to make a change to the previous Conditional Use approved regarding the number and type of residents. Mr. Sweeney stated that the current agreement is for 300 male inmates. He indicated once the additional construction is complete, the facility will house 400 residents consisting of male and female.  The facility will house 300 male inmates and about 64 female inmates. There is a possibility that female residents will originate from Lehigh or Northampton Correctional facilities.

Discussion was made regarding the results of the traffic study on Riverside Drive and the maintenance of the roadway.  Mr. Mukherjee stated the traffic study was submitted and concluded that it would not have any adverse impact because the increase of traffic is not significant. Mr. Sweeney stated that the Department of Corrections has maintained Riverside Drive for the past ten years and will continue to maintain it.

Mr. Tettemer stated that he is going to remove his recommendation; item (k) regarding improvements to Riverside Drive from discussion with the Board of Commissioners because Riverside Drive is a private road. The Township has no responsibility in maintaining that road but for police or emergency use. However, Mr. Tettemer does recommend consideration of road improvements.

Mr. Sweeney indicated the road is always maintained to accommodate public transportation, noting that LANTA provides bus service.

In addition to the previous Conditional Use approval regarding the parking spaces, Mr. Sweeney stated there are 37 parking spaces which have been adequate since the facility opened in 1990. However, due to an increase in staff, parking will need to increase to a total of 48 parking spaces. The Planning Commission was informed that the residents are not allowed to drive to or from the facility. However, in rare instances, the Judge may approve a resident to maintain their driving privileges.  

Mr. Beck inquired about the handicap parking spaces. Mr. Sweeney stated that there are three spaces provided based on the 48 parking spaces available. Mr. Tettemer reiterated that there are not enough handicaps spaces.

Mr. Tettemer stated as part of the Conditional Use, the Commissioners can agree to the limited number of parking spaces but a waiver request will be required. 

Mr. Comly indicated that in preparation for the parking lot plans, they had the staff do an hourly periodic count for one week as to how many cars were in the parking lot at any time. He stated the volume was very low, possibly in the teens, and this information would be made available to the Township.

Mr. Beck highlighted a brief history of the Treatment Center and expressed his concern with female residents residing there. Mr. Comly clarified that the female residents will be in a completely separate area of the building at all times, including a separate eating and treatment area.  

Mr. Tettemer commented on the request to not include plans showing the additional parking in the rear as part of the Conditional Use. He believes this should be included in the plan as a reserved area, in reference to possible future conditions changing, whereas zoning requirements could be met.  The developer concurred and suggested a restricted covenant on the plan specifying the use of the property and stating that no greater than ten residents are permitted to drive.

Attorney Ashley advised the Planning Commission members recommendations could be made to the Board of Commissioners to either have the conditions remain as is, or be modified, but he suggested the Planning Commission review the current condition, discuss, make legal documentation and then make recommendations regarding the conditions to the use at the December Planning Commission meeting.

On motion of Mr. Hassick, seconded by Mr. Snyder, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to table decision on the conditions, as well as, address all items referenced by Attorney Ashley, Township Solicitor, Mr. Tettemer, Keystone Consulting Engineers comments, also the comments afforded by the Zoning Officer. Mr. Mckitish was not present.

Mr. Beck addressed the waiver request for SALDO section 3.2.A.3., relative to Lehigh County Treatment Center expansion and development project be a combination of Preliminary and Final Plans.

On motion of Mr. Schreiter, seconded by Mr. Hebelka, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend granting the requested waiver to SALDO section 3.2.A.3 for the project to be a combination Preliminary/Final Plan. Mr. Mckitish was not present.


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