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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting Wednesday — May 2, 2007

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday,
April 4, 2007, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Ms. Hill, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lustgarten and Mr. Urban. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Manager Forrest, Borough Secretary Henry and Borough Treasurer/Planning Commission Chair Smith. Councilman Wagner, Police Chief Kortan and Fire Chief Young were absent.


Ms. Coleman moved to approve the minutes of the April 4, 2007 Council meeting. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Lee moved to suspend the Rules of Order, seconded by Ms. Hill. The motion carried unanimously.


Len Wert Resident of Lansdowne – Dr. Wert mentioned that the property adjacent to his is an eyesore and getting worse. Dr. Wert asked if a sign prohibiting turnarounds in his driveway is available for sale. Mr. Scott mentioned that there is a list of Penndot approved signs and will check to see if this particular sign is available. President Wayne asked for Dr. Wert’s help in identifying code violations regarding the adjacent property.

Mr. Lee moved to reinstate the Rules of Order, seconded by Ms.Lustgarten. The motion carried unanimously.


A. Treasurer Bill Smith – Mr. Smith had no formal report.

B. Engineer Richard Bevilacqua – Mr. Bevilacqua reported on the following projects:

2007 Road Program – Material costs are now up 20% from the last figures. Estimates now are in the $140,000-$160,000 range for Union Avenue paving.The Eldon Avenue portion of the program is now in the $60,000-$75,000 range. The grouting portion of the Eldon Avenue portion will need to be bid separately and this contract will be in the $12,000-$25,000 range. Seal coating for E. Essex and Highland Avenues will be in the $10,000-$11,000 range. President Wayne asked that seal coating for these two additional streets (Essex and Highland) be added to the bid.

2007 Sewer Program – The cost for the Drexel Avenue sewer work will be less than first anticipated (range is now $170,000-$190,000). Bids will be advertised and received the same time as the road program. There is high infiltration and root intrusion with a semi-collapsed 24″ diameter sewer along Scottdale Road and will cost over $250,000 to repair. Additionally, there are open joints at Falls Run with heavy infiltration and root intrusion. Repair costs are in the $400,000-$450,000 range.

Library HVAC– There are exhaust system, electrical and clearance issues with the unit for maintenance. Two mechanical contractors have been asked to visit site and give cost range for just replacing the gas fired furnace. Mr. Bevilacqua anticipates costs in the range of $10,000-$15,000 for replacing the interior gas furnace unit, excluding the cost of relocating the exhaust in the roof, the electrical and/or clearance issues. The total job estimate is in the $100,000-$140,000 range. Alternatives are being investigated to address this situation.

Borough Parking Lots – Costs were revisited for seal coating compared to bituminous overlay. Seal coating will not protect any leveling or base repair work and the recommendation is to wait until repairs can be made rather than expend monies now for seal coating or base repair.Ms. Lustgarten will look into costs for in-house seal coating.

C. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott reported that the application regarding the State Farm Insurance subdivision land development is due for Borough Council decision at the next meeting. The proposal complies with the subdivision ordinance with two minor exceptions: the removal of one tree and a 19′ wide access.
Mr. Scott reported that an application has been received for cell towers at the Stratford Court apartments that complies with the provisions of the zoning code but need special exceptions and will also be going through the HARB process.

D. Manager David R. Forrest – Mr. Forrest reported that a zoning hearing notice regarding 14 N. Wycombe Avenue will be going before the Zoning Hearing Board on May 10th at 7:30 p.m. regarding the conversion of the duplex into a triplex. After some discussion there arrived a consensus to oppose this request.

Mr. Lee moved to have the Zoning Hearing Board deny the variance to convert the property at 14 N. Wycombe Avenue to a triplex apartment building. Ms. Coleman seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously.

E. Police Chief Kortan – No report was given.

F. Fire Chief Young – No report was given.

G. Planning Commission Chair Smith – Mr. Smith mentioned that the next Commission meeting will be held next Thursday. In addition, work is still being done on storm water management issues.

Committee Reports:

a) Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten reported that the auditors have requested and received an extension to May 1st.

b) Public Safety – Ms. Hill had no formal report. The next Public Safety Committee meeting will be held next Wednesday. Ms. Hill mentioned that the tennis court lots are being used mainly by the apartment residents for overnight parking and incurring wear and tear on the lots. The Committee will further investigate the issue.

c) Nominations – Ms. Coleman had no formal report.

d) Ad Hoc Committees

  • School Taxation – Mr. Urban reported that the Ad Hoc Committee met last night with several School Board members and Mr. Bedden in attendance to discuss the operation of the School District. Mr. Urban mentioned that Ms. Hill suggested having both Democrats and Republicans putting out a statement to vote "no" on the EIT ballot question. Mr. Urban stated that the fight needs to continue after the election regarding this issue and offered to be the Borough Council liaison to the School Board.

Discussion Updates and Issues:

  1. Dunkin’ Donuts Development – there is an issue with two trees needing to be cut down at the entrance of the Highland Avenue lot for a cost of $1100.00. A discussion ensued regarding replacement trees and access issues. Mr. Scott felt that it would be premature to cut down any trees until the agreement is more concrete. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to have the Tree Advisory Board look into the matter.
  2. Human Relations Commission Training – Mr. Lee reported that representatives of the State Human Relations Commission have recommended that members of the Lansdowne Human Relations Commission become certified in mediation through a course costing $400-$450 per member. Ms. Lustgarten suggested having the Commission Chair gauge the level of interest among the members and also felt that a budget line for this Commission needs to be developed.
  3. Parks – President Wayne opened a discussion regarding the Borough parks and open spaces and whether or not these should be consolidated for budgetary and administration reasons under the Park and Recreation Board. After further discussion there arrived a consensus to have Mr. Urban bring the matter before the Park and Recreation Board for further discussion.
  4. Meeting with Congressman Sestak – President Wayne asked for issues/topics to be discussed at the upcoming meeting. These included: No Child Left Behind, FAA plans for greater air space over Lansdowne, block grants and emergency management funding, Federal grants and the Baltimore Avenue corridor project, revisions to the Federal student loan program and ‘earmarks’.
  5. Draft Zoning Ordinance – Ms. Coleman reported that a meeting was held on April 30th. The revised executive summary was supplied to Borough Council members for tonight’s discussion. This revised version is now being sent to the Planning Commission for their review, after which they will hold a public hearing before bringing their recommendations back to Borough Council. Mr. Scott stated that the Planning Commission must act within 30 days of receiving the ordinance. Mr. Lee suggested changing the definition of a ‘single family’ household. President Wayne questioned the term ‘conditional use’ for houses. Mr. Scott suggested using the term ‘special exception’ rather than ‘conditional use’. President Wayne and Mr. Lee expressed some concern over the ‘special exception’ versus ‘variance’ issue. Mr. Scott concurred and stipulated that the ordinance should not permit additional single family houses to be converted into densely populated houses. President Wayne questioned how the transit overlay district might affect an application to the National Historic Register for a particular area near the train station. Mr. Scott felt that it would not affect the eligibility but might affect the historic character. The matter will be further investigated.

Comments from Council Members and Mayor:

Mayor Young: Met with the DVRPC consulting team to look at a marketing plan for Lansdowne. Mayor Young reported a 45% increase in recycling in March. A battery recycling box was donated by the Appligent Company.

Mr. Urban: There will be a Movie Night held free of charge in Hoffman Park on June 9th at 6:00 p.m.

Ms. Hill: Changing the dates for the Ad Hoc Committee meetings is costly ($25 each time the date is advertised) and the Chairs should plan the dates 2-3 months in advance.

Action Items

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of the bills for period. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Coleman moved to reappoint Joseph Parsio to the Tree Advisory Board for a three year term expiring 4/30/10. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  3. Ms. Coleman moved to reappoint Helen Marcarelli to the Tree Advisory Board for a three year term expiring 4/30/10. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  4. Ms. Lustgarten moved to advertise bids for the 2007 Road Program, including seal coating on Essex and Highland Avenues. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to advertise the 2007 Sewer Program. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  6. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve Resolution 2007-10 regarding bank accounts. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. New signatories will be Mr. Smith, Ms. Coleman, President Wayne and Ms. Lustgarten.

Executive Session

Ms. Hill moved to adjourn to executive session to discuss a personnel issue. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 9:25 p.m.

Public Session

No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session.

Ms. Lustgarten moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Lee. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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