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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Planning Commission
Meeting Minutes

March 11, 2009

Attendees: Marian Schaner, Robert Bartmann, Marcy Allen, Bill Smith, Amy Floresta Guests: Mark Gavin (Appligent), Jennifer Hoff (LEDC), Mark Hipp (Attorney), Craig Totaro & Mike Jozwiak, Jeff Laufer (HARB Chairman)

Agenda/Discussion
Item or Issue
Action(s)
Taken
Responsible
Person(s)
Due
Date
Approval of Minutes Mr. Bartmann made a motion to approve the January minutes. Mr. Smith seconded. Minutes were unanimously approved.
Review of Proposed Cell Tower Ordinance in Transit Oriented Development Overlay District Mr. Mark Hipp, Attorney for AT&T, spoke for the proposed ordinance text amendment. That is tailored to allow communications antennae not to exceed 10 feet in height on the roof of Building C at Wildman Arms (WA). Three separate antennae are proposed for the roof. Building C was selected due to height and location for coverage. There is no proposed revenue stream for the Borough – any revenue would benefit the condominium. Mr. Jozwiak clarified that the condo agreement allows for rooftop equipment. A Styrofoam “stealth” enclosure is proposed to shield the tops of the antennae, with the intention of making it look like an elevator tower from the street. Mr. Bartmann raised concerns about spot zoning given that Wildman Arms is the only building in the transit zone tall enough to meet the height restriction. The residents of Wildman Arms have voted in favor of the antennae. Mr. Bartmann suggested that building owner may be requested to add trees along Baltimore Avenue to help screen views. Mr. Smith suggested that the ordinance be either disallowed or expanded to apply to other buildings, to avoid spot zoning and believes that the proposed ordinance is not in keeping with the comprehensive plan and sets a dangerous precedent. Mr. Hipp requested conditional approval. Ms. Schaner responded that additional conversation would be required. Mr. Bartmann indicated that a decision would be made by the conclusion of the meeting and that Mr. Hipp would be notified of the outcome of the discussion. Discussion: Mr. Smith objected to deviating from the zoning ordinance only a year after adoption. The WA site is a traditional neighborhood district and it was decided that antennae would not be appropriate in residential districts. Ms. Allen reviewed the benefits for WA and asked what the factual objections would be. Mr. Smith agreed with the benefits and that the appearance of the antennae would not be objectionable. He recommended that a franchise fee agreement should be negotiated with the Borough. Ms. Schaner suggested that the height in the proposed amendment be reduced to 45 feet to alleviate the spot zoning concerns. Ms. Allen moved to recommend to Borough Council that the proposed ordinance text amendment be accepted as written with the change that the height referenced in Section 902 new paragraph 4 be changed from 50 to 45 feet. Mr. Bartmann seconded. Ms. Allen, Ms. Schaner, Mr. Bartmann and Ms. Floresta voted in favor. Mr. Smith voted against. The motion carried.
Facade Improvements to 23-25 S Lansdowne Ave Ms. Hoff distributed before and after images of proposed facade improvements. Plans have been reviewed and approved by the HARB. Zoning papers have been filed. The building use will not change. Work will commence as soon as approvals are in place. There will be no disruptions to the business. Mr. Bartmann moved to approve the plans. Mr. Smith seconded. Improvements were unanimously approved.
Appligent Development Project Mr. Totaro introduced the proposal for 22 LLC Baltimore Ave for the purpose of information only. The owners have access rights.and are seeking state financing. An easement will be sought between 22 Baltimore and adjacent Appligent building for pedestrian access to train station and rear entry to Appligent. Mr. Gavin explained that the sidewalk will need to be raised to 8 inches high to meet PennDOT requirements and curb cuts will need to be installed. An expansion of the sidewalk is proposed at the corner. The Borough engineer is reviewing these issues with PennDOT. Mr Bartmann requested that street trees be included. Mr. Totaro clarified that the issue before the Commission is the easement only. Mr. Gavin explained that the property will be acquired in August, construction will begin in September and the bakery (phase 1) will be open in January 2010. The project will come before the Commission again once it is further along in the process.
Proposed Ordinance Text Amendment to Modify Use Districts Ms. Schaner distributed a proposed amendment to restrict warehouse uses on the first floor of buildings in BAM, NB and CDB districts. Mr. Bartmann characterized the proposal as a follow-up /correction to the zoning ordinance. Mr. Smith motioned to recommend to Borough Council to approve (doc 42108 v1) the proposed ordinance to prohibit first floor warehousing. Mr. Bartmann seconded. Approved unanimously.
Bike Path and Bike Rack Ms. Allen circulated a draft notice asking for resident input about the proposed Lansdowne bike path for insertion in the next Mayor’s newletter. The notice includes an email address for the planning commission so that the public may be in touch. She added that there is a good place for a bike rack in the municipal lot at the memorial and that would be a good location for the bike path to begin. Ms. Allen suggested that a borough ironworker be asked to provide a custom bike rack as a donation or at a favorable price. She will get information about pricing, so a recommendation can be made to Borough Council, potentially signed off on by the LPC,LEDC and LBPA. Geri Steiber (Park & Rec) will be consulted for comparative cost of an off-the-shelf bike rack.
Rolling Agenda Mr. Gavin suggested that the planning commission be added to the LEDC email list. Ms. Schaner will organize the vision / goals / strategies lists for discussion at the next meeting. Mr. Smith noted an increase in vacant residential properties in the Borough. The Borough should keep a running list of vacant properties so that police and zoning can monitor activities and conditions.
Mr. Smith motioned to adjourn. Ms. Allen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:34 pm.

Planning Commission Meets: 2ndth Wednesday of every month; 7pm in Borough Hall

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