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The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania The Borough of Lansdowne Pennsylvania

Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting
March 4, 2009

The Lansdowne Borough Council Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 7:30 PM in Borough Hall. Present were President Coleman, Mr. Lee, Ms. Lustgarten, Mr. Schleigh, Ms. Silzle, Mr. Urban and Mr. Wagner. Also in attendance were Mayor Young, Borough Solicitor Scott, Borough Secretary Henry, Borough Manager Totaro, Borough Finance Director/Treasurer Bartley and Police Chief Kortan. Fire Chief Young was absent.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved with the following change: Ms. Silzle will be making the motion regarding the promotion of Officer Craig.


Ms. Silzle moved to approve the minutes of the February 4, 2009 Business Meeting as submitted by the Secretary. Ms. Lustgarten seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Urban moved to suspend Roberts Rules of Order to hear visitor comments. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment

1. James Jackson 88 S. Wycombe Avenue — Mr. Jackson indicated his frustration in trying to receive an accurate figure from the tax collector for his 2009 Borough trash fee. Mr. Jackson stated that his property is being billed for two trash fees and wanted to know the amount owed for a single family residence. The Codes Department confirmed that the property is a single family dwelling. President Coleman requested that Mr. Bartley follow up on the matter and obtain the necessary information for Mr. Jackson.

Borough Council comments: There were no comments.

Ms. Lustgarten moved to reinstate Roberts Rules of Order. Mr. Urban seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


A. Finance Director/Treasurer Joe Bartley — Mr. Bartley had no formal report but indicated there are sufficient funds to meet current obligations.

B. Solicitor Bob Scott — Mr. Scott had no formal report.

C. Borough Manager Craig Totaro — Mr. Totaro gave updates on the following:
a) Gladstone Manor issues — final responses have been sent out to the residents.

b) Elm Street application — meeting was held with Mr. Totaro, Debbie Lamborn and Michael Grant and the application writing process has been divided among the three.

c) Growing Greener grant application — was submitted last May and it was awarded by the Department of Environmental Protection for restoration of the stream bank at Hoffman Park. Mr. Totaro indicated the dam would be removed this year. Mayor Young asked if the undermining of the tennis courts issue could be added as part of the grant. Mr. Totaro indicated he will investigate the matter but it would have to be listed as an add-on item. Mr. Urban questioned whether someone had looked at the work to be done at the Gateway Park trail to see if it fits with the current project. Mr. Totaro indicated he would further check into what needs to be looked at in this regard. The grant was for approximately $100,000.

d) Zoning — nothing is scheduled for this month’s Zoning Hearing Board but an upcoming hearing will be scheduled for a day care center in a residential area. Mr. Lee indicated he had previously opposed a day care center near Powelton Avenue and that a 300 foot prohibition for proximity to another day care center had previously been enacted. Mr. Totaro thought the pending application was for the same center and they were only moving to another location but he will further investigate the matter. Mr. Totaro indicated a special exception was needed for this application but did not know the nature of the exception. Mr. Scott will also check into the matter.

e) Fire House sink hole has been closed and some final surrounding areas are to be graded and seeded. Mr. Lee asked for an update on the Scottdale Road project. Mr. Totaro indicated the project is stalled while guarantees are secured for structural integrity of the 50 year liner. There is a two week waiting period for ordering the pipe after the engineer approves the liner. Proposed time frame is April 1st for completion. Mr. Urban questioned the accessibility of Scottdale Road during this period. Mr. Totaro indicated there would be access from Lansdowne Avenue with some detouring at Baltimore Avenue.

D. Police Chief Dan Kortan — Chief Kortan reported that progress continues with the part time officer issue, applications have been out since February 17th, cut off date for application submission is March 13th and the exam is scheduled for March 23rd at the Twentieth Century Club. Officer McDermott is fully equipped in uniform and will be formally sworn in at the next General Council meeting.

E. Fire Chief Tom Young — No report was given in Chief Young’s absence.

President’s Report — President Coleman reported that as a result of the resignation last month of Councilman Gene Wayne, a search had been performed for his replacement and the position will be filled by Michael Schleigh. Ms. Lustgarten moved to accept the resignation of Michael Schleigh as Auditor of Lansdowne Borough. Mr. Lee seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Lee moved to appoint Michael Schleigh to Borough Council. Ms. Silzle seconded and a roll call vote was taken. The motion carried unanimously. Mayor Young then swore in Mr. Schleigh as a Lansdowne Borough Council member.

Mayor’s Report — Mayor Young reported that she and other members of the 1st Suburbs of Southeastern Pennsylvania had met with Barry Seymour, the Executive Director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. The DVRPC will have control of the stimulus money geared for Pennsylvania. Mr. Seymour provided a finalized list of transportation improvement projects. Mayor Young indicated that 108 additional pools of money are also available for other venues. Mayor Young indicated that 1st Suburbs had also presented Governor Rendell and the DVRPC with their analysis of the projects and their perspective on the stimulus money. Mayor Young indicated that Lansdowne should continue to send in applications for different projects as PennVest might do negative interest loans and grants. Additionally, the DVRPC will be performing a Southeast PA Smart Housing initiative, the goal of which is to enhance regional competitiveness and promote coordinated regional planning by assessing the region’s current housing stock and identifying potential alternatives for promoting socioeconomic balance and diversity throughout Southeastern PA and to help guide housing policies and financing decisions.

Mayor Young reported that Accurate Recycling wants to build a single stream recycling plant on the Upper Darby side of Union Avenue at the old Crucible Steel site and a DEP permit application has been submitted that has a 30 day response. Council members voiced concerns for the residents as well as crime and noise issues and the further degradation of Union Avenue. Mayor Young recommended getting DEP’s position on the project, obtaining a copy of the application, mobilizing the residents of Lansdowne and finding out whether any concessions can be made. Borough staff will proceed with obtaining this information.

Mayor Young indicated that the newsletter will be issued soon and the Lansdowne volunteer Fire Department is looking for new members.


1. Public Safety — President Coleman reported that the Public Safety Committee had not met since her last report and the next scheduled meeting will be held on March 11th at 7:00 p.m. President Coleman mentioned that County Council has taken a position against expanding the runways at Philadelphia airport.

2. Finance — Ms. Lustgarten reported that last month’s meeting had been cancelled but reported on the following:

(1) information has been sent to the Delaware Valley Insurance Trust, a consortium of municipalities that obtains the best rates regarding health insurance, workers compensation and commercial liability rates;

(2) the LEDC will be spending the remaining $70,000 grant money for facade improvements. Ms. Lustgarten mentioned that the new Main Street Manager, Michael Grant, is doing an excellent job.

3. Economic Development — Mr. Wagner indicated that the Economic Development Committee had met on February 26th and will report later in the meeting on the new business and action items that were derived from that meeting.

4. Environmental — Ms. Silzle reported that she recently attended the 4th annual Delaware County Environmental Summit. Issues discussed were the stimulus package and H.B. 80 (energy bill that deals with solar energy and carbon emissions). A Green Expo will be held on March 14th and 15th at the Philadelphia Convention Center. On March 7th PECO will be holding an Energy Fair at 2301 Market Street from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The next Environmental Committee meeting will be held on March 12th at 7:00 p.m. in Borough Hall.

5. Education — Mr. Urban reported that there are now three candidates for the Park and Recreation Board vacancy. Mr. Urban indicated that he would like to conduct interviews with the candidates at the next Education Committee meeting to be held on March 17th at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Urban indicated he would also like the Chairs of the Education and Environmental Committees and the Park and Recreation Board present at these interviews.

6. Infrastructure — Mr. Lee had no formal report. The next Infrastructure Committee will be held on March 24th at 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall.

Old Business

1. Committee Assignments — President Coleman presented some of the moves/changes to the Committees that will be voted upon by resolution at the next Council meeting. Michael Schleigh will replace President Coleman as Chair of the Public Safety Committee. Mr. Urban will be joining the Environmental Committee. Ms. Lustgarten will be joining the Economic Development Committee. Mayor Young will continue her role on the Public Safety Committee.

New Business

1. Wildman Arms Antenna — Mr. Wagner reported that the Condominium Board had presented more comprehensive safety reports and drawings. The antennas will be allowed by special exception in a traditional neighborhood district. The impact site wise will be very minimal. Mark Hipp, the attorney for AT&T was present and indicated that Section 902 special exception language will be somewhat amended. A reassessment will result from this endeavor.

Mr. Wagner moved to forward an ordinance permitting a cell antenna on the Wildman Arms condominium building to the planning agencies and to advertise such ordinance. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

2. Prohibition of Warehouse use in Business Districts — Mr. Wagner opened a discussion on Ordinance 1241 that would amend the Zoning Code to prohibit the use of the first floor for properties in the business district, the central business district and the Baltimore Avenue mixed-use District for warehousing. The ordinance is intended to strengthen the language defining warehousing. Mayor Young questioned the language stipulating that a business must be open 5 days a week and a minimum of 30 hours per week to avoid the warehouse use definition. Mr. Wagner indicated this language gives leverage to help promote the vitality of the business district and encourages new businesses to become part of that vitality. This includes every business district except for the industrial district near Union Avenue. Existing businesses would be grandfathered from this ordinance. Mr. Urban opposed the 5 day mandate. Mr. Schleigh questioned enforcement methods, the prohibited use mandate and felt the ordinance did not address the existing problem. Mr. Wagner reiterated that this was a multi-faceted approach in order to set higher standards for new businesses and work with existing entrepreneurs.

Mr. Lee felt the language should read 5 days per week or 30 hours per week and questioned whether other municipalities had adopted this type of ordinance and if it had been successful. Ms. Lustgarten felt the hours should be increased to 35 hours per week. After further discussion President Coleman proposed that the language be changed to state 5 days per week or 35 hours per week.

Mr. Wagner moved to forward Ordinance 1241 (an ordinance prohibiting the use of the first floor of properties in the central business district from being used for warehousing) to the planning agencies and to advertise such ordinance as amended by President Coleman. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. A roll call vote was taken. The motion carried 4-3 (Aye: Coleman, Lustgarten, Silzle and Wagner. Nay: Lee, Urban and Schleigh).

3. Zoning Hearing Board Candidates — Mr. Wagner indicated that George Xanthoudakis had submitted a letter of intent in this regard and felt he would be a good candidate. Mr. Wagner moved to appoint George Xanthoudakis to the Zoning Hearing Board for a five year term. Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously.


1. Ms. Lustgarten moved to authorize payment of bills for period. Ms. Silzle seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

2. Mr. Wagner moved to adopt Ordinance 1240, an ordinance of Lansdowne Borough regulating the use of dumpsters and portable storage containers. Ms. Lustgarten seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

3. Mr. Urban moved to execute contract renewal for Celebration Theater’s use of the Twentieth Century Club. Ms. Silzle seconded. Discussion: Ms. Lustgarten indicated that the Finance Committee had not yet formalized their recommendation for changing the fee structure for non profit or civic organizations but anticipated that the Committee would be in agreement that the Twentieth Century Club would be included in the group that would not be charged a fee. Ms. Lustgarten moved to amend the motion to include no charge to Celebration Theater for the use of the Twentieth Century Club. Mr. Lee seconded. The motion carried. Discussion: Mr. Urban suggested adding a provision in the contract to appropriate 10 tickets per production for distribution to financially needy residents of Lansdowne and to list Borough Council as the highest donor. Mr. Totaro will speak with Mary Kay Bowden in this regard. President Coleman asked for a roll call vote to approve the contract waiving the rent. The motion carried unanimously.

4. Ms. Silzle moved to promote Officer Christopher Craig to Class A Patrolman. Mr. Urban seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

5. Ms. Lustgarten moved to adopt Resolution 2009-7, a resolution of the Borough declaring its intent to destroy records. Mr. Lee seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Executive Session

Mr. Lee moved to adjourn to Executive Session. Mr. Wagner seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:11 p.m.

Public Session

There were no public motions made upon reconvening to public session.


Mr. Wagner moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Urban. The motion
carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:16 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Ann Henry
Borough Secretary

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