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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
Wednesday – June 2, 2004

A public hearing was held on June 2, 2004, 7:15 PM in Borough Hall to discuss the Zoning Ordinance overlay. Present were President Council, Mrs. Fryer, Mr. Borgman, Ms. Hill, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wayne. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Treasurer Asciutto, Borough Manager Forrest, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry and Chief Kortan.

Some concerns were expressed by Mr. Wayne. Mr. Wayne stated that certain areas of the ordinance were more restrictive than necessary and not very flexible, citing in particular the restriction of government offices in the business district. He did not feel that government offices should be made to go before the Zoning Hearing Board seeking special exception. Ms. Hill also shared Mr. Wayne’s concerns. Mr. Wayne felt it would be better to have a productive building rather than a vacant one. President Council felt this was not beneficial as it obstructed the long term vision of the Borough to regulate less than viable businesses in the Borough. President Council asked for the Economic Development Committee’s recommendation. Mr. Wayne stated his Committee and the Community Development Committee would review the ordinance. Mr. Wayne expressed the time frame as being two months for the requested recommendations. President Council asked Borough Council members if the reasons were compelling enough to forestall the ordinance another two months. It was decided to discuss the issue under New Business.

President Council asked if any visitors had comments regarding the Zoning overlay.
Mr. Callaghan asked if the Zoning Hearing Board was independent of Borough Council. Mr. Scott stated that the Board generally gives more weight to Borough Council’s opinion because Borough Council has already gone through the deliberative process.

An unidentified visitor asked what businesses would be prohibited or allowed in the C-3 district. Mr. Scott stated that legal adult entertainment has to be allowed due to constitutional law and that a more detailed list is given in the ordinance.However, there is a 200 foot restriction to protect churches, schools and parks from being too close to these types of businesses.

Mr. Smith moved to adjourn the public hearing and reconvene to the regularly scheduled Borough Council Business meeting. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting reconvened at 7:45 PM.

Minutes – Mr. Smith moved to approve the minutes of the May 5, 2004 Business Meeting of Borough Council as submitted by the Secretary. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Jeff Doyle
176 N. Lansdowne Avenue – Mr. Doyle asked why construction has to start at 7:00 PM through 5:00 AM for the north Lansdowne Avenue sewer project. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that PennDot does this so that traffic is not disrupted during the busier day hours.Mr. Doyle stated that no mention of night work was evident in the contractor’s letter to residents. Mrs. Fryer and Mr. Smith stated that they were unaware of the night work decision. Mr. Doyle was also concerned about the impact of the construction to his property. Mr. Forrest will talk with him tomorrow about his concerns.

John Callaghan
13 W. Greenwood Avenue – Mr. Callaghan supported Mr. Doyle’s concerns.
Mr. Callaghan asked why a U&O was needed to sell a vacant lot at 167 Owen Avenue and why the buyer has to pay another $50 every 60 days. Mr. Forrest will call him to discuss the matter.
Mr. Callaghan asked why the $3,000 loan was forgiven the LEDC regarding the Arts Festival.He also felt that paying $600 for the Smalley painting in Borough Hall was questionable. President Council stated that the forgiveness will help the LEDC support future arts festivals and that the arts will hopefully have a positive economic impact on the Borough.

Mike Magee
Mr. Magee stated that the Lansdowne Boys and Girls Club has applied for a grant to improve Hoffman Park. He asked that Borough Council permit the installation of a new covered backstop, two new sets of bleachers and a new scoreboard. The improvements have already been unanimously approved by the Park and Recreation Board. President Council asked who owns the equipment and recommended putting a protective covering on the scoreboard. Mr. Magee stated the Borough would own the equipment.
Mr. Borgman moved to permit the installation of the aforesaid equipment in Hoffman Park, seconded by Mr. Smith. The motion carried unanimously.

Edith Bassie
70 Sayers Avenue – Mrs. Bassie stated that the torn tar strip on Sayers Avenue is still not repaired. Mr. Forrest will look into the matter.
Mrs. Bassie stated that Amy Gillespie is doing a wonderful job as Director of the Lansdowne library.

Reports and Discussions

A. Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Asciutto had no formal report.

B. Borough Engineer’s Report – Mr. Bevilacqua reported that bids will be received on June 15th, 10:00 AM in Borough Hall for the 2004 Road Program. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that the N. Lansdowne Avenue sewer project will be completed by July 3rd. Mr. Bevilacqua reported that final numbers are being reviewed for the County for change orders on the Twentieth Century Club project. The change orders will still keep the original bid in the range of $75,000-$76,000.
Mr. Bevilacqua stated that a meeting is being set up to decide whether the 56 S. Union Avenue project will be awarded to the second low bidder or if it will be re-advertised.
Mr. Bevilacqua stated that he is still waiting for a plumbing proposal for 132 Bartram Avenue.
Ms. Hill asked the status of 231 N. Lansdowne Avenue. Mr. Forrest stated this property will be rehabbed and will try to get more specific information.

C. Solicitor’s Report – Mr. Scott stated he had one executive session item.
Mr. Scott stated he is still awaiting a response from Mr. Ferkler’s attorney regarding the escrow money.

D. Borough Manager’s Report – Mr. Forrest reported that a workshop is being
held on June 29th, 6:00 PM at the Clifton Heights Fire Department regarding the new storm water discharge regulations and requirements.
Mr. Forrest stated that the COG discussed applying for PennDot’s new Home Streets Program for Streetscape improvements on Baltimore Avenue from Clifton Heights to the Philadelphia line. The Borough is not in a position to apply at the present time but an application may be submitted to the Delaware County Planning Commission to get another PCDI grant to do concept work.
Mr. Forrest stated that a County grant of $45,000 was received to fund 50% of the multi- municipal open space plan.

E. Police Chief Kortan – Chief Kortan stated that he is ready to offer a final offer of employment as a police officer to Lawrence Albertoli, Jr., to be effective June 17th.

F. Mayor Young – Mayor Young stated that the Helms Award will be presented to Mary Kay Bowden at the next General meeting. Also, Joe Doan will be presented with an 85 year member award by the American Legion.
Mayor Young stated that she would like agenda items for a possible future meeting with Governor Rendell, pending approval. Mr. Forrest asked that the Baltimore Avenue corridor project be emphasized. Mr. Smith asked that tax reform for public education be a prime item.
Mayor Young stated that Senator Williams will get back to her regarding funding for the poetry book.


G. President’s Report – President Council had no formal report.

H. Municipal Services – Mrs. Fryer reported on the School Board budget
meeting: $64.6 million budget with a 3.7% increase before grants, 2.2% after grants and a 10.7% tax increase ($220 per household). Mrs. Fryer stated these figures were preliminary. Proposed cuts include eliminating 3 elementary school teachers, 1 special education teacher, 3 reading teachers from Title1 budget, restructuring the central office to eliminate the assistant superintendent, eliminating 2 maintenance workers, 1 administrative assistant, 1 elementary school principal, staff development and no overtime.
A lengthy discussion followed regarding the current problems in the William Penn and statewide educational system. Mrs. Fryer stated that a proactive and leadership role was needed to try and remedy the William Penn school situation. President Council and Mrs. Hill felt that the only way to get the needed attention would be to precipitate a crisis i.e., declare bankruptcy.
Mr. Wayne stated that Borough Council should investigate litigation strategies. Mr. Scott will look into whether options are available to the Borough for litigating in either Federal or State courts.

I. Finance and Administration – Mr. Smith reported that the next Finance Committee meeting will be held on June 7th to discuss the 2002/2003 trash and sewer lien filing.
Mr. Smith stated that three options have been discussed regarding the capital improvement program and asked for comments. President Council stated that before making any decisions he would have to look at the debt service on the $5.5 million bond issue as opposed to what the impact on taxpayers would be if paying for specific items out of the General Fund. President Council asked that the Finance Committee produce an amortization schedule regarding the debt service impact.

J. Community Development – Mr. Borgman reported that his Committee is working on revising the property maintenance code. Mr. Bonenberger stated that specific attention should be given to pages 18 through 31 of Ordinance 1198 regarding the enforcement and administration of the Pennsylvania Construction Code. Mr. Borgman stated he would have the Committee’s recommendations for voting purposes by the next business meeting.
Mr. Borgman reported that operating approval from the Zoning Committee has been granted to a new pizza shop and also to a trophy/tee shirt store on S. Wycombe Avenue.
Mr. Borgman stated that the next Committee meeting scheduled for June 13th may be postponed.

K.Public Safety – Ms. Hill reported that the Lansdowne library has received $1,500 from the Giant Food Corporation.
Mayor Young stated that problems still exist with coordinating the Lansdowne library’s web site with the Borough’s web site. Ms. Hill will investigate the matter.

L.Economic Development – Mr. Wayne reported that the Planning Commission has requested the following changes to the Redevelopment Plan: (a) the funeral home will be targeted for either rehabilitation or redevelopment and may possibly be combined with the site currently occupied by the Laundromat, and (b) the Harkin and Tillman properties will be targeted for both rehabilitation or redevelopment. The Planning Commission will act on the plan’s certification at its June 17th meeting.
Mr. Wayne reported that a grant application has been submitted for a community marketing brochure and asked for slogan suggestions.
Mr. Wayne reported that the Main Street application is in progress. The Elm Street grant and the Community Action Agency grant are still pending.
Mr. Wayne reported that the Economic Development Committee has decided to pursue a historic district and will be applying for grant money to help with facade guidance, direction and regulation in the central business district.
Mr. Wayne stated that the next Committee meeting date is undetermined.

Old Business – None

New Business – Mr. Smith moved to approve the bills for the period. Mr. Borgman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Hill moved to approve Ordinance No. 1195, an ordinance setting fines for violations of certain parking regulations, deleting certain regulations and creating additional regulations. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Borgman moved to approve Ordinance No. 1196, an ordinance prohibiting littering and dumping and regulating the distribution of handbills and establishing penalties for violations thereof. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Borgman moved to approve Ordinance No. 1197, an ordinance to provide for and regulate the location of certain businesses among the various commercial districts of the borough; the purpose of this amendment is to create retail-friendly C-1 and C-2 commercial districts and to encourage the revitalization of such commercial districts in the borough. Mr. Wayne voiced several objections to the ordinance’s restrictive language regarding government offices and theaters. It was decided to table the motion. Mr. Wayne moved to table Ordinance 1197. Mr. Smith seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-1 with President Council casting the dissenting vote.
Mr. Borgman moved to advertise Ordinance No. 1198, an ordinance providing for the administration and enforcement of the Pennsylvania Construction Code, Act 45 of 1999. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Smith moved to approve Resolution No. 2004-11, a resolution establishing an employee deferred compensation program through the Internal City Management Association Retirement Corporation (the “457 Plan”). Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Smith moved to execute an Administrative Services Agreement with the International City Management Association Retirement Corporation for the purpose of establishing an employee deferred compensation program. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Hill moved to approve Resolution 2004-12, a resolution increasing fines to $15.00 for violating certain parking ordinances of the Borough of Lansdowne. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Wayne was absent from the vote.
Ms. Hill moved to appoint Sheila E. Kavanagh to the Library Board, for a three year term expiring 3/31/07, filling the vacancy upon Olivia Neely Gaskins’s resignation. Mr. Smith seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Smith moved to approve Resolution 2004-13, a resolution amending a schedule of fees and deposits to be paid to the Borough of Lansdowne for applications and for petitions for hearings before the Borough Council, Zoning Hearing Board and the Planning Commission; and fees and costs for licenses, permits, inspections, agreements, services and materials. Mrs. Fryer seconded and the motion carried unanimously
Ms. Hill moved to extend the deadline for shutting off the current fire siren until such time as the new fire siren is operational. Mrs. Fryer seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 5-1 with Mr. Borgman casting the dissenting vote.

Mrs. Fryer moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a litigation matter. Mr. Smith seconded, the motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 10:28 PM.

There were no motions made upon reconvening into Public Session.

Mr. Smith moved to adjourn the Public Session, seconded by Mr. Borgman. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 10:48 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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