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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting Wednesday – October 3, 2007

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, October 3, 2007, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Wayne, Ms. Coleman, Ms. Hill, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Engineer Bevilacqua, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Treasurer/Planning Commission Chair Smith, Police Chief Kortan and Code Enforcement Officer Travers. Fire Chief Young was absent.

Approval of Agenda – The agenda was approved with the following changes/additions: (1) Mr. Urban will be making the motion for action item #3 instead of Ms. Coleman; (2) 2004 IRS Payroll tax issues has been added to Discussion Issues and Updates; (3) Mr. Lee Senior will be joining the meeting at 8:00 p.m. to give an overview of Discussion Item #2 Zoning Ordinance.

Minutes – Mr. Wagner moved to approve the minutes of the September 5, 2007 Council meeting. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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


Len Wert Resident of Lansdowne – Dr. Wert questioned if the Borough denied permission for Beneficial Bank to buy the American Appliance site for a new bank to be erected at that site. President Wayne stated no and explained that the Borough had met with representatives of Beneficial Bank and Upper Darby Borough. The plan called for additional curb cuts on Union Avenue which is Lansdowne property. A formal request has not yet been received by the Borough for the curb cuts. Dr. Wert stated that everything should be done to improve the appearance to the Borough entrance sites. Dr. Wert questioned the status of the Virginia Donuts site. President Wayne indicated the site if privately owned and special exceptions were received to put in a banquet hall. The Code Officer will look into the code violations for this building. Dr. Wert questioned if anyone had looked into the Immigration Ministry facility. President Wayne stated he was not at the meeting when Dr. Wert mentioned this item. Dr. Wert again asked for an ordinance making English the official language of Lansdowne.

Borough Council comments to visitors: There were no comments.

Mr. Wagner 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:

  1. Drexel Avenue Sewer – 80% of work is completed and expected completion is within two weeks, including paving.
  2. Dunkin Donuts Curb work is completed; paving starts next week. Approximate time to completion is two weeks. Mr. Bevilacqua stated that the additional bid item of pavers had not been decided upon by Borough Council and asked whether these pavers or only concrete would be added to the area in front of the sitting walls. After some discussion there arrived a consensus to add the concrete at a cost of approximately $72 sq. yard for an approximate total of $1,000. Mr. Lee made a motion to approve the payment of $1,000 for the contractor to use concrete in the add on areas. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. A discussion then followed regarding the aesthetics and costs to install concrete pavers. Mr. Wagner moved to amend the previous motion and to spend $2,397 to install concrete pavers to the add on areas. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried 5-2 with Mr. Lee and Ms. Hill voting nay. Mr. Scott mentioned easement issues and that the owner was responsible for any improvements in their designated areas. Mr. Wagner then moved to amend his previous motion, contingent upon Kevin Laverty doing the installation in a timely manner at the discretion of the Borough Manager and if unable to do so, have the original contractor do the work. The motion carried 5-2 with Mr. Lee and Ms. Hill voting nay. There was further discussion regarding time constraints and costs of materials. Mr. Wagner moved to direct the Borough Manager to arrange for the installation of concrete pavers at a cost of $2,397 contingent upon the Borough crew and Kevin Laverty’s work schedule. If schedules do not permit, the original contractor is authorized to perform the work for the same amount. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried 5-2 with Mr. Lee and Ms. Hill voting "nay".
  3. 2007 Road Paving Work continues on Eldon Avenue this week and on Union Avenue next week. There were some concerns regarding traffic and alternate Septa routes along Stewart Avenue. Chief Kortan mentioned that the contractor will keep one lane open along Union Avenue and Stewart Avenue.

Zoning Ordinance Discussion: – Mr. Lee Senior gave an overview of the significant changes, noting that the most significant changes involve Section 4 design guidelines/uses and Section 3 permit process changes. The Planning Commission has reviewed the revised document and a final draft will have to be submitted to the County Planning Department, after which a public hearing is to be held before voting on the changes. The hearing is to be advertised twice. Mr. Senior mentioned that the current ordinance focuses on combining districts, (R1 and R1a will now be combined), density and setback requirements. Mr. Scott mentioned that if an apartment building is demolished, the only replacements can be single or twin residences. There was some discussion regarding which properties should be put back into the central business district, i.e., the Masonic building, Pantry One and Don’s Dance World.
Changes of note are as follows:
Section 3 – Permit applications. Sign, fence and storage buildings are now permitted. Scale drawings and photographs will now be required to alter facades in the downtown business district.
Section 4 – Certain residential districts are to be combined. President Wayne mentioned that a definition for group living arrangements needs to be incorporated into the new ordinance and questioned limiting the density of group homes. Restaurants will now be defined as establishments and Mr. Scott will research the definition of a convenience store.
Section 5 – Special Exception Uses. Adult entertainment uses language is omitted. President Wayne questioned whether the current language achieves the same effect.
Section 7 – Signs. Mr. Wagner questioned why neon signs are not prohibited. After some discussion the consensus was to prohibit them. Animated signs will be permitted if placed inside the main sign frame. Current signs are grandfathered in but any new signs will be subject to the new ordinance rules. President Wayne questioned whether the use of artesian, political and personal expression signs would be allowed. Mr. Scott and Mr. Senior will investigate. Projecting signs in the business district will be permitted with size limitations.

C. Solicitor Bob Scott – Mr. Scott had no formal report.

D. Police Chief Dan Kortan – Chief Kortan gave a follow up report on the high school riot incident mentioned at the last general meeting: currently 7 individuals have been cited and all witnesses have been interviewed. The concluding report is that there was no credible evidence of a firearm. Mr. Wagner felt that residents should have all their facts straight before publicly airing any incident of this nature. Chief Kortan also thanked Mercy Hospital for donating another automatic defibrillator to the Borough. Chief Kortan thanked Steve Travers for his help last week in caring for a child until family members could be notified.

E. Fire Chief Tom Young No report was given in Chief Youngs absence.

F. Planning Commission Chair Smith – Mr. Smith mentioned that the next Planning Commission meeting will be held on October 11th at 7:30 p.m. There are also two terms expiring at the end of this month.

Committee Reports:

a) Finance and Administration – Ms. Lustgarten had no formal report.

b) Public Safety – Ms. Hill had no formal report but mentioned that a library member with a Ph.D. in archiving has offered to help with archiving Borough historical records. Additionally, there was a discussion about establishing a record management program to preserve current records for the future and also to train Borough staff in this endeavor.

c) Nominations – Ms. Coleman had no formal report but mentioned she is working on the Human Relations Commission opening and the Park and Recreation Board openings.

Comments from Council Members and Mayor:

  1. Mayor Young mentioned that letters had been received praising the Borough crew efforts with the trash pickup process and also commending Sandy Takacz and Mike Jozwiak of the Codes Department.
  2. Mr. Urban mentioned that Park Day was well attended and there is currently one vacancy on the Park and Recreation Board.
  3. Mr. Lee mentioned President Bushs recent veto of the Child Health Plan that will affect 4 million children who will not have health insurance. Mr. Lee stated the impact will be felt by Pennsylvanians and indicated elected officials need to make Washington more aware of the gravity of this situation.
  4. President Wayne mentioned that tickets are available for the Senior Community Services 30th annual Gala on October 26th.

Discussion Updates and Issues:

  1. Dunkin Donuts easement – Mr. Scott reported that the owner is now asking for an amendment to the grant easement agreement in perpetuity that allows for the termination of the agreement if the Borough ever sells the Highland Avenue parking lot.
  2. 2008 budget – The 2009 projections will be on the next version.
  3. IRS 2004 payroll tax – President Wayne stated there was a question of owing $30,000 of payroll taxes in the Police Pension Fund when managed by Smith Barney. Mr. Smith investigated and found that the IRS misapplied $18,000 of this amount. The issue is to be taken up with Smith Barney regarding the remaining unpaid balance. Mr. Urban moved to pay the IRS $7,844.87 of the remaining balance in the 2004 Police Pension fund payroll tax issue and to pursue recourse action against Smith Barney to recover these monies. Mr. Lee seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Action Items

  1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to approve bills for the period. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  2. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution No. 2007-14, a resolution regarding bank accounts and signers. Ms. Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  3. Mr. Urban moved to enter into an agreement with Simone Collins for the design for the Gateway Park project. Ms. Coleman seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session – Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn to executive session to discuss a real estate matter. Miss Hill seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned to executive session at 10:10 p.m.

Public Session – No motions were made upon reconvening to Public Session

Adjourn – Mr. Urban moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Wagner. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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