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01/12/2010 PC Minutes

MINUTES

PARADISE TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

Annual Organization Meeting & Regular Meeting

January 12, 2010

 

Upon a motion by Ronald Taylor seconded by Michaels, Greco was elected temporary Chairman.

Motion carried 4-0.

 

Chair Joseph Greco called the annual organization meeting of the Paradise Township Planning Commission to order at 5:35pm on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.

 

Roll Call

Joseph Greco – Member

Ronald R. Taylor- Member

Sharon Michaels- Member

Edith Stevens - Member

Timothy McManus, Esquire – Solicitor

 

Debra Brady - Zoning Officer

Charles Unangst – Engineer

Elaine M. Diaz- Secretary

 

Joseph Greco opened the floor for nominations for the Chairman of the Board. Ronald Taylor nominated Joseph Greco. There were no other nominations for Chair.

 

Motion: Ronald Taylor moved seconded by Sharon Michaels for Joseph Greco to be the new Chairman of the Board.

Motion carried 4-0.

 

Motion: Ronald Taylor moved seconded by Sharon Michaels to elect Jeffrey Martens as Vice Chairman of the Planning Commission.

Motion carried 3-1 (Edith Stevens abstained).

 

Motion: Edith Stevens moved seconded by Sharon Michaels to elect Ronald Taylor as Secretary for the Planning Commission.

Motion carried 4-0.

 

Motion: Sharon Michaels moved seconded by Ronald Taylor to elect Elaine M. Diaz as the Recording Secretary for the Planning Commission.

Motion carried 4-0.

 

Motion: Edith Stevens moved seconded by Ronald Taylor to maintain the Planning Commission meeting time at 5:30pm on the second Tuesday of the month.

Motion carried 4-0.

 

Public Comment Statement

Chairman Greco announced the following public comment statement: “Ladies and gentlemen, before the Planning Commission votes on any matter, the Commission will allow for public comment on that particular item.  If you wish to be heard at that time, please raise your hand, and you will be recognized.”  (At that time, please state your name for the record.)

 

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Motion:  Ronald Taylor moved seconded by Sharon Michaels to approve the December 8, 2009 meeting minutes.

Motion carried 3-1. (Edith Stevens abstained as she was not a member then.)

 

Correspondence

NONE

 

Open Plans – No Action Necessary

NONE

 

New Submittals for Acceptance

NONE

 

Plan Reviews

AT& T / Cingular Land Development

AT& T / Cingular Stormwater Plan

No one was present on behalf of the applicant. A letter dated January 12, 2010 was received from Attorney Christopher Schubert requesting the plan be tabled until the February 9 meeting.  The letter provided a time waiver of the MPC requirements until April 20, 2010.

 

Motion:  Sharon Michaels moved seconded by Ronald Taylor to table the AT & T / Cingular Land Development and Stormwater Plan until the February 9, 2010 Planning Commission meeting.

Motion carried 4-0.

 

 

Henryville Flyfishers Conditional Use Application

Jason Smith appeared on behalf of the Henryville Flyfishers.  This application is a revision to the Conditional Use Application which was previously approved by the Board of Supervisors. The revision involves relocating and constructing the parking lot adjacent to the existing structure thus eliminating both the proposed parking lot on the other side of State Route 191 and the need for a pedestrian crossing of State Route 191, which was of concern on the previous plan. 

 

The Board of Supervisors has scheduled a Public Hearing for the revised Conditional Use on January 19, 2010. It is the recommendation of Achterman Associates that items 4, 5, 6, and 15 could be removed from the previous Conditional Use Decision of the Board of Supervisors as a result of this plan, but all the other conditions will still be applicable.

 

Motion: Edith Stevens moved seconded by Ronald Taylor to recommend the Board of Supervisors grant  the Revised Conditional Use Application , subject to all of the conditions previously imposed as part of the original Conditional Use Decision, with the exception of conditions 4, 5, 6 and 15, as the same are no longer necessary.

Motion carried 4-0.

 

RGC Development Conditional Use Application & RGC Act 537revision

Attorney Ralph Matergia was present on behalf of the applicant. Also present were Robert Ciccone, Owner/ Developer, Brick Linder, Consulting Engineer, Joseph Valentine, Hydrogeology/Soil Scientist, Del Val Soil Consultants, Ann Wingert, Land Development Engineer of Niclaus Engineering Corporation, Tom Kelso of Castle Valley Consultants, Thomas Cordrey, Horticulturalist for Del Val Soil, Tony Sharp, Regional Manager for Utilities Inc., Chuck Madison, Area Manager, Utilities Inc., and Mark Baker, Area Manager, Utilities Inc.

Joseph Valentine reviewed questions and concerns raised at the site inspection held Saturday, January 9, 2010.  He stated that Item #1 questioned “Why was the site selected in Paradise Township as opposed to Mount Pocono?” Valentine responded that the best soils happen to be in Paradise Township with the best hydrolic conductivity.

The second concern raised was the amount of additional water proposed to be discharged subsurface. Mr. Valentine stated that “Based on the soil test results, the water balance calculations, and the proposed applications rate, the wastewater disposal system will apply a small amount of water relative to the soil’s ability to transmit the water. Therefore, the proposed application of wastewater will not create saturated soil conditions.”

 

Replacement areas were also discussed. This was a concern to the commission and Mr. Valentine stated that “due to the high level of treatment prior to disposal and the high level of management and monitoring involved with this type of disposal system, a replacement area is not necessary. However, with an abundance of caution, several areas within the proposed PRD to be served by the sewer system have been tested which are potentially suitable for the installation of additional disposal area in the unlikely event that additional disposal area would be necessary in the future.”

 

Mr. Valentine further stated that this type of system is considered a large volume part 2 system by DEP. The Final finish is UV, there will not be chlorine going into the ground.

 

Carol Hillestad, Paradise Township resident and Chairperson for the EAC was present and questioned “due to the decimation of the trees by the gypsy moths, what happens if the trees die? How big is the evapotransporation factor of the soil? The ability of the soil to accept the water?” Mr. Valentine responded that the evapotransporation (“ET”) aspect does not affect wastewater

Application, it affects how we determine the conservative way of calculating the loading rate. In determining this, they took the worst month that would have the least ET and the highest precipitation in order for this system to work in the worst conditions.  So they are not relying on ET or trees to remove effluent.

 

Thomas Cordrey addressed the Commission’s concerns regarding the site plan and the impact on trees. Mr. Cordrey stated that the impact will be on feeder roots not deep anchor roots. After a site visit it was determined that there will be a natural decline in trees since there are trees that are mature and in distress, but no more than would occur in any other land development. In short it may result in an increased annual growth rate of the younger trees and a more vigorous understory growth.

 

Engineer Unangst stated “assuming that trees keep growing and everything is fine, should there be an agreement established for logging purposes?” Attorney Matergia stated that this is an item that could be addressed and something that could be drawn up with the Township Solicitor.

 

There was discussion regarding the trenches. Mr. Tom Kelso stated that trenches would be separated by six (6) feet on center minimum, for two reasons. The first to protect slopes and the second to try and minimize the impact on the trees. There will be a variation between trenches between 6 and 15 feet. Mr. Kelso also stated that the site will be set up in zones so that if there needs to be work done in an area, they can shut down a zone as opposed to shutting down the whole site and also to control the pump size.

 

There was discussion regarding Intermunicipal obligations regarding replacement areas, who would be overseeing and inspecting the site area and monitoring the site on a regular basis and who would be held accountable by DEP should there be a problem with the system in the future since the disposal area is in Paradise and the houses are in Mount Pocono Boro.

 

Attorney Matergia stated that when you deal with a regulated Public Utility, as opposed to just a developer, you don’t need to worry about the developer running out of money and not following through on a project, or whether the developer has adequate financial reserves. You then rely on the exclusive regulatory jurisdiction of the PUC. The company that is certificated for the purpose of operating this facility has to demonstrate those capabilities and the financial wherewithal to be able to address those concerns so that the municipality needs not be worried.

 

Engineer Unangst stated that there should be an agreement between Mount Pocono Borough and Paradise Township since the housing units cannot exist without a sewage disposal facility and the disposal facility is going to be located in Paradise. Attorney Matergia commented that there will be an agreement with Mount Pocono Borough addressing concerns that arose out of their planning process that has led them to this point.  He suggested there could be a similar agreement with Paradise Township.

 

Attorney John Prevoznik questioned that the “PUC and DEP are usually at odds with one another- please explain why you feel comfortable stating that having a PUC means it will be less restrictive?”

Attorney Matergia responded “the regulations in Chapter 75 regulate how we regulate these types of systems (community systems.) They were written specifically so you wouldn’t have situations that these systems are created and everyone leaves town. So what Mr. Kelso meant by stating that the regulations being less keen or less restrictive is that all these requirements that you have to set out just get forwarded, you don’t have to provide them. To ensure that proper tariffs are being charged to the owners and they do not come back to the Township and expect the Township to use Township funds to fix any problems that may occur.

 

Brady commented that even with the assertion that the potential for failure is de minimus, what if the DEP or one of the PUC Agreements that are out there says that one of these reserve areas in the Borough need to be used and the Borough disagrees.  Brady does not want to see Paradise Township being told that they have to condemn land or do something else within this municipality. 

Unangst stated that this can be addressed by an agreement between the

Township, Developer, and PUC, (this would be up to the Township Solicitor to design) addressing how to handle such a situation. This would be the only way he would be somewhat comfortable with this project.

 

Attorney Matergia introduced Tony Sharpe, Regional Manager from Utilities Inc.

Mr. Sharpe handed out brochures and explained the properties that they manage, one of which is Penn Estates. Stevens pointed out that there have been numerous problems in Penn Estates and Mr. Sharpe responded that the problems were before Utilities Inc took over the property maintenance. Mr. Sharpe further stated that there would be monthly monitoring reports that would be submitted to the Township.

Attorney Prevoznik questioned Attorney Matergia if they are proposing to take in sewage from another facility and would they be willing to provide that in writing in the agreement?

Attorney Matergia responded that they are not going to take in sewage from another facility and, yes, they would be willing to include that in the agreement.

 

Referring to Hanover Engineering comments:

 

Item # 10 Section 160-14.E- All onsite sewage disposal systems shall be located seventy five feet (75’) from the property line. All treatment plants or central sewage disposal facilities shall be located one hundred feet (100’) from any property line. Applicable setbacks shall be labeled on the Plans.

 

Item #11 Section 160-14.F- Any drilled well shall be located at least one hundred feet (100’) from any sewage disposal bed.  Brady noted that this isolation distance was for drinking water wells, not monitoring wells, and that any monitoring wells required by DEP would be allowed.  She also requested reassurance that any/all abandoned wells will be closed per AWWA standards.

 

Brady commented that Mount Pocono Borough has approved Phase 1, the Act 537 plan, and the proposed ingress and egress for the project.

 

The Applicant is requesting that the Act 537 Plan and the Conditional Use application be moved together.

 

Motion: Ronald Taylor moved seconded by Edith Stevens to recommend the Board of Supervisors grant the Greensprings Conditional Use Application subject to the following condition:

1.      That the comments from Hanover Engineering are addressed satisfactorily;

2.      Entering into an Agreement that is satisfactory to the Paradise Township Board of Supervisors that addresses the Operation and Maintenance of the proposed wastewater disposal system and also addresses the Intermunicipal concerns with respect to the

proposed users of the system and the replacement areas being located in borough of Mount Pocono;

3.      Restricting logging in disposal field area;

4.      Approval of the Act 537 plan by the Township and DEP.

 

Motion carried 4-0.

 

Motion: Edith Stevens moved, seconded by Ronald Taylor, to recommend the Board of Supervisors approve the requested Act 537 revision for new land development with the following conditions:

1.      That the comments from Hanover Engineering are addressed satisfactorily.

2.      Entering into an Agreement that is satisfactory to the Paradise Township Board of Supervisors that addresses the Operation and Maintenance of the proposed wastewater disposal system and also addresses the Intermunicipal concerns with respect to the proposed users of the system and the replacement areas being located in borough of Mount Pocono;

3.      Restricting logging in disposal field area.

4.      Approval of the pending Conditional Use application for the proposed public utility wastewater disposal system.

Motion carried 4-0.

 

Sketch Plans

NONE

 

Other Business

    

Chapter 160 Zoning Ordinance Revision

Chapter 1 Definitions Revision

Mrs. Brady gave a brief description of the revisions and asked the Commission to take the revision home and review them. They will be discussed at the next Planning Commission meeting.

 

Adjournment

There was no further business or public comment. 

Motion:  Michaels moved seconded by Taylor to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

Motion carried 4-0.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Elaine M. Diaz

Administrative Secretary