Planning Commission meeting 10-15-2018 was very interesting. This was the final meeting for our township to make a decision on the Crossroads X Plan #2, Revision #2. A plan that our township only received on September 25th, 2018. A mere three weeks before the deadline.
LTL Engineering rocks! In three weeks they managed to get through the new plan revision and had a 16 page review letter ready to go. LTL_review_101218 Not only that, but our township rocks as they had the new Fire Code Consultant ready to go and he also had a 14 page review ready to go. Fire_Review_101518
Due to some issues in the past, regarding Crossroads X and a couple other plans submitted to the township, in which the public (residents of Greenwich Township) felt that the plans were not being reviewed openly, nor honestly, our township has changed how the reviews are being handled. We saw this with the gas station/convenience store plans and again tonight with the warehouse plans. Basically, the developer engineer and our township engineer, cannot discuss the plans or the plan reviews except at a public meeting. While this can be cumbersome, it has eliminated a lot of the negative comments from residents on social media.
With that said, our Planning Commission and our township engineer had 24 pages of reviews to discuss. The meeting started at 7:30 pm and ended at 10:00 pm. At the end of the meeting, JVI granted a 90 extension for our township and their engineers to make the plans compliant with the two reviews. That extension will expired at the January 24th, 2019 Planning Commission meeting.
As soon as I get copied of the two reviews, I will post them here for everyone to read. I am going to just give you the gist of the reviews here.
One item I need to comment on here, is the illegal subdivision and consequent sale of a piece of land easement from Ken Thompson to JVI prior to Mr. Thompson selling the entire property. This was brought up and LTL has recommended that JVI present the subdivision to the Zoning Board for review because there could be issues with property boundries and location of the house or the well or the septic. Here is a case of the developer preferring to ask for forgiveness instead of asking for permission. I believe, that after they go through their subdivision (after the fact) hearing, that they be charged with a hefty fine for violating our township SALDO.
The meeting was video taped by the new attorney for the developer, stating that since there is not an email trail between engineers, there needs to be documentation of the verbal discussion. The township requested copies of the video tape for their own records and the new attorney agreed to provide that to them.
Still a lot of items that are not in compliance. Most of them are simply technical data issues that needs to be rewritten as apples to apples instead of apples to oranges. Easily fixed.
(1) The road easement noted above and widening the road will add more water runoff onto a neighboring property. This was discussed a few moments and determined it was a matter for PennDOT.
(2) Our ordinances require new developments to add curbing and sidewalks. JVI wants a waiver. This was discussed and again, PennDOT was brought up.
It was then determined that they probably needed to get a meeting setup with PennDOT, JVI Engineer and our Township engineer. I made a request that we (the Greenwich Two residents) be notified of that meeting and be allowed to attend the meeting … especially since JVI attended OUR resident PennDOT meeting last November, and without an invitation.
(3) There was a LOT of discussion about the sewage treatment as they completely revamped their plants to have a small treatment plant with discharge onsite. Great.
(4) Most their permits are not obtained at this time. Their attorney said that was because they wanted to be sure their plans would be acceptable before they went to the expense of getting the permits (mostly regarding the installation of a small sewage treatment plant)
(5) Our ordinances require 10% of paved parking areas to be landscaped. Their attorney said that was not possible given the small area for the truck parking area and if the township wouldn’t give them a waiver on that, then the township would be inhibiting their ability to build the warehouse. (No, you can build the warehouse, shrink it down so that the parking area can be larger to you can have 10% of it landscaped.) It is our ordinance, make your plans fit our laws, do not ask us to waive our laws to fit your warehouse.
(6) LTL has in their review letter Ordinance 802. This is directly related to the health, wealth and welfare of the residents. At this time, the developer has not presented to the township how they intend to make the Krumsville 5 point intersection safe for truck traffic, they have not presented how they will prevent the surrounding properties from losing property value, and they have not presented how they will adhere to the HUD Noise and Pollution laws instated in Pennsylvania in 2009. In fact, when this section of the engineering review letter was read aloud, no-one had any comment at all.
And there are many small minor items that will be easily remedied.
FIRE CONSULTANT REVIEW
The recommendations from the Fire Code Consultant were remarkable. As soon as I get a copy I will put it here for you to read. He pretty much advised the township many of the “needs” that we had already put before the Board of Supervisors and added in several more items that we didn’t know about, but surely made sense.
(1) For a warehouse this size, they need not one, but two emergency access roads.
(2) All entrances need to be separated by a calculation of one half the diagonal of the property (we had brought this before the township and was one of the reasons they rejected the first set of plans)
(3) The grade of the emergency access roads is not to exceed 6% … based on their current plans, the emergency access road will have a grade greater than this. reason for this is the length and rear hang of most larger fire trucks.
(4) This one really caught my attention. A building this size, with the distance away from large water sources such as ponds and streams, would require as many as 12 firetrucks running in a convoy to provide enough water to effectively fight a fire. Recommendation for an increase in the size of the water holding tank the developer had proposed. AND, based on the 5 to 10 gallons per minute pump to refill the tank, should it need to be used – or after an inspection when it is emptied – the building should be evacuated and closed until the water tank is refilled.
(5) Roadways on the property should be built to withstand the weight of a large fire truck, 82,000 pounds. This is twice the normal weight of a tractor trailer.
(6) Turns should be made to accommodate a large fire truck. Current plans do not have enough turning radius for emergency vehicles to access all sides of the building.
And then there’s the recommendations for onsite, trained personnel for emergencies – not just fire, but accidents, etc based on the run-times for outside emergency personnel to arrive on site. It was a very in depth look at what can go wrong and how the township can help to keep residents safe during an emergency at this location.
All in all, a very good meeting. Very informative and it gave us a ton of information to research before the next meeting in November 2018.