Board of Supervisor Meetings

Official meeting minutes are now posted on the Greenwich Twp website, after they are approved the month after the meeting. http://www.greenwichtownshippa.org/bos_minutes.html

I do occasionally post my own version of events, here are some of them.

November 2017

GOD BLESS AMERICA and the attorneys that work law in this country.

This meeting did not go as long as the October 2nd meeting, and the meeting was much calmer without the drama of the developer’s attorney, Kate, throwing hissy fits over everything and the residents getting all worked up and throwing out public comment. After the meeting, and having some time to review the meeting tape, I suspect that Kate was fully aware of what they were going to get hit with at this meeting and thus had the time to compose herself before the meeting. (read October 2nd meeting notes, she was out of control!)

We (the community) have been presenting item after item to the BoS regarding the plans defects and regarding the safety of the community.  Our community funded municipality attorney, Stephen Price, spent a lot of time reviewing these items against our SALDO and our ordinances.  He came up with two major issues and contacted Dan Becker (our township’s municipality attorney) to review those items.

We had been working with LTL (engineering firm) to verify the  items we were finding wrong in the plans and we passed all that information along to Stephen. Prior to the meeting, Stephen called Dan and presented Dan with the information we had put together. I understand they talked about these items at length on the phone.

When we could not convince our township to listen, our attorney did! (Thank you to everyone that has contributed to funding the attorneys, we could not have gotten this far without the attorneys!!!)

When we arrived at the meeting, sitting at the front table with Dan Becker was John Weber from LTL.  We silently cheered!

The meeting began with the developer reviewing the four items from last month.  They disagree with our assessment that traffic is a problem and that was confirmed by KCE (the township engineering firm). KCE said in their traffic review, the intersection can handle the additional traffic.

Our trial attorney, Rob Pinel, stated, “Just because something can be, does not mean it should be.”

I concur. This intersection has issues already, and adding the additional traffic is going to compound it greatly.

KCE went on the state in their review letter that all aspects of the plans meet the township ordinances.  Really?  because we have another engineering firm who says otherwise.

I have to clearly state at this time that we have watched the incompetence, nonprofessionalism and outright lack of interest at the meetings for way too long.  (one KCE engineer attended the meeting on Oct 2nd and fell asleep with his head on his hand.  Yes, that is true!) We – the residents of Greenwich Township – need to reach out to the BoS and demand that KCE be removed and a different engineering firm, one that is actually interested in what we are doing and one that will research on our behalf, be hired.

KCE is ridiculous.

So at that time, Dan Becker introduced John Weber and let him run over the items that he found.  Because his firm is diligent and worked very hard for us.

  1. Rhoades Rd is still a safety issue and the BoS was not satisfied with the three means of fixing that problem that the developer presented at the meeting.  We are not interested in tearing out resident properties so you can widen the road. We are not interested in changing the emergence of Rhoades Rd from Rt 737 to Old 22. And we are certainly not interested in adding a second stop sign, moving the existing stop and creating a total nightmare on the south bound Rt 737 into the Krumsville Intersection.
  2. We will not accept the emergency access road as it sits.  We are holding the developer to the2015 ICC Fire Code. We can do that as our current fire code is open to interpretation.
  3. Hey, developer.  Did you know that our ordinances prevent a structure within 50 feet of a water source?
  4. Retaining walls are most definitely structures and our ordinances do not allow for structures within the setback.  Your current plans have the walls well within in the setback AND those retaining walls may be causing undue damage to the adjoining property.
  5. We are still not accepting your traffic study numbers.  You sure do need to get a tenant on line so you can show us who and what will be in this warehouse. At this time, no amount of conjecture on traffic volumes is going to be accepted.
  6. Oh, and by the way, Dan is concerned on this one ….speaking of tenants … we do not think you have enough parking for cars and trucks on this property.  You say you will upgrade the parking at the time you get a tenant and discover there isn’t enough parking, but we may not grant you the ability to change your plans to build bigger parking at that time.

Kate did have one little temper tantrum when we brought up the ordinance about the water source. She stated that she is sure there are plenty of structures near water sources in our township and we were treating them differently.  Rob Pinel stated, “They are probably grandfathered in.” She shut up.

They argued the emergency access and the township stood firm. They will not accept it as it is.

They argued the retaining walls and said they can redo the design using a more narrow wall that will not affect the setback.

They offered a couple solutions for Rhoades Rd which actually made a couple of the people in  he audience and one BoS member chuckle.  Reaching for straws?  Yes, yes they are.

  1. Make Rhoades Rd one way (already been there and that’s been denied)
  2. (This one cracks me up) Move the current stop sign on the south bound 737 closer to the intersection with a stop line, add a second stop sign on the south bound 737 before Rhoades Rd and a “Do Not Block Intersection” sign.  (WHAT?!?!?!)
  3. Take down the hedge to open Line Of Sight. (LOS isn’t the issue in the intersection, turning radius is the issue because the buildings are too close to the road … HELLO! Duh?)
  4. Use the existing state right-of-way or purchase people’s yards along Rt 737 to widen the road leading into the intersection for turning radius (hey, we’re not selling and note that there is concrete water retention wall west on the southbound Rt 737 which channels rain and snow-melt off the road and into the open water culvert.  Are you planning to redesign the entire intersection???)

The township stood firm.  Kate asked for a brief ten minute, private meeting, with her client, the developer.  That meeting actually lasted 23 minutes. I know, I was watching the clock!

They came back and asked for a 30 day extension to review all these items.  Because they had only received the LTL letter that day, they were granted the 30 day extension.

And so, we wait another month to get a final vote on the warehouse plans.

In other news, the township (FINALLY) has their new website up and running.

http://www.greenwichtownshippa.org/

This is going to help a lot going forward in keeping information out to the public.

 

BoS Meeting Sept 5, 2017

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, to the 102 people that attended tonights’ meeting in support of the opposition to this Crossroads X Warehouse Project.  Each one of you was a tremendous help tonight.  We presented this information at the meeting.Board of Supervisors meeting 09-05-17rev7pgs

The meeting ran long as the BoS also had information they wished to give us, the community.  In attendance was our township Sewage Enforcement Officer, Allen Madeira. He was very forthcoming about our township board being proactive and insisting on a Hydro Study by PADEP for the warehouse sewage disposal and the impacts on the environment. He advised us to lay low on presenting the well testing we have been doing as we could get the attention of PADEP, who could then force the township into performing an ACT 537 which will not only be costly to the township, but will be costly to us (the township residents) as well. (this was an action item from the August PC meeting)

Victor Berger, our township Supervisor, did some research on our behalf regarding the damages to our homes and our muddy well water due to the construction of the I-78 bridge.  He contacted Greg Farabugh, Penn Dot Project Manager Krumsville Construction, at the construction site and Victor was told that if we have damages they need to be brought to his attention. (this was an action item from the August PC meeting)  ALL RESIDENTS that presented me photos of their homes need to put together photos and write up a detail of when this occurred to be presented to PennDOT, via Greg at the construction site. (I would like to have copies, just to keep in our files)

As for our concerns of traffic being added to the intersection, the BoS clearly stated that they have had many meetings with PennDOT on this subject and PennDOT has refused to investigate further because our intersection is considered a Class D or Class E on their scale.  In order for them to proceed with more investigation, our intersection would need to be classified as an A or a B. Read more about that here. In other words, at this time there have not been enough documented accidents involving injury and/or death to warrant an upgrade from Class D to Class B. (this was an action item from the August PC meeting)

We have several items to follow up on at the PC Meeting in two weeks.

In a nutshell, our Board of Supervisors did follow up on many of the items that we have been disputing and filing complaints on.  They are listening.  Whether or not it will have an effect on their final determination on whether to approve or disapprove the warehouse building permit is still an open item.

The Reading Eagle is still following our meetings!

 

BoS Meeting May 1, 2017

I will begin my presentation with a follow up to the action items from the last BoS meeting.  Namely, we were promised that the 2003 Ordinances on-line would be updated with the newer 2014 version.  We requested answers to some questions, and will be expecting those answers at this meeting. If they do not have answers, we refile the complaint. complaint6_form

Next we need to clarify a few items.  Who owns the road Old 22? and is there a movement to trade Long Lane for Old 22? And did the township and PennDOT come to an agreement on not changing the Long Lane intersection and on moving the Crossroads X driveway south on Rt 737.

And, what are the two PennDOT boxes posted on the Crossroads X property supposed to be tracking?

First order of business to address with the Board of Supervisors is the information provided by McMahon to PennDOT regarding traffic trips for a High Cube Distribution Center.  We spent two days reviewing studies put out by ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers).  According to the ITE most recent High Cube Warehouse Vehicle Trip Generation Analysis, dated October 2016, numbers for a High Cube Distribution Center vary widely based on the tenant.  A FedEx or UPS center will generated thousands of trips as opposed to an Ikea center which could generate as few as a couple hundred trips. (Read our summary paper here ITE Analysis dated Oct 2016) When we have this presentation prepared, we will be sending it via email to The Board of Supervisors, to Dennis Toomey at PennDOT and to John Wichner at McMahon.  They stated 320 trips, the ITE Analysis states 792 for general analysis, 788 for low end HCW and 5,000+ for high end HCW.

The issue lies in the lack of a tenant, so we cannot be fully aware of how many trips to the warehouse.  We will be filing this PETITION challenging the McMahon statement of trips. Please download page 1 and fill out to bring to the meeting, or drop it at my house in the box I have provided by my side door.  petition1_36pgs

Because McMahon has stated such a low volume of traffic, PennDOT is not reviewing the driveway for traffic signalization and PennDOT clearly stated at the April 12th meeting that they do not intend to reduce the speed limit through that area where traffic will be exiting the warehouse property onto Route 737.  Driveway Design Requirements. We believe the 441.8 (iv) High Volume Driveway will apply and PennDOT needs to review PA CODE 067,CHAPTER 441.9 ACCESS TO AND OCCUPANCY OF HIGHWAYS BY DRIVEWAYS AND LOCAL ROADS.

AND, considering volumes will be higher than McMahon stated, and they move Long Lane to create a new intersection, a traffic signal will be required at the expense of the developer. PA CODE 067, CHAPTER 212.5 Installation and maintenance responsibilities. Subsection (d) Traffic-control devices on local highway approaches to intersections with State-designated highways.

AND, the grade from the proposed new intersection of the driveway and Long Lane to the established intersection of Old 22 and Route 737 needs to be PennDOT reviewed per 212.11 Hazardous Grade Speed Limits and to impose a non-air brake zone so that the Noise Ordinance Imposed by Greenwich Township is not violated.

Second order of business.  The intersection of Old 22 and Route 737.  According to the 2015 2015 Berks County Traffic Volume Study, published February 2017, states the intersection of Old 22 and Route 737 is currently at 2,300 AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic) and south of I-78 on Route 737 the current AADT is 3,800.  PennDOT states the intersection is an existing problem and the additional traffic is not going to require changes to the signal.  We did request a traffic signal assessment study at the March 12th meeting, and he agreed to perform that prior to completing the review for the Warehouse project HOP , we will follow up!  And we are filing this Petition petition2_form asking for more PennDOT reviews prior to issuing the HOP to McMahon.

Third order of business.  We have received the Engineering Review, nine  pages. engineer_review_march162017 Dated from November 16, 2016 (first plan submission) through March 16, 2017 (last submission).  There is reference to a 44 page submission dated September 30, 2016.  I have formally requested copies of this document on April 6, 2017 but have not received those pages as of April 19, 2017.  The Engineering Review is not signed by an engineer.  We need to challenge this.  We can officially request an certified engineer (P.E.) to review the SALDO and Warehouse Plans.

Fourth order of business. McMahon stated that they had the DEP permits to cross the swamplands.  I called DEP and requested a “Right To KNOW” documentation on the permit study and findings and the permit itself.  I was informed by DEP that at this time there are no permits issues for that parcel of land.  So, can McMahon clarify to us exactly what DEP permits they have already procured?

And so … We are compiling more complaints to be filed!!!  Please download, print, sign and fax or bring to the meeting any of these complaints that you feel are relevant to you!

refile_complaint4_form Regarding Ordinance 802 Nuisances due to increased traffic

complaint5_form Regarding open items for website updates that we were promised on April 3, 2017

complaint6_form Regarding damages to property and homes

petition1_form Petition against McMahon’s HIGH CUBE

petition2_form Petition against PennDOT to do a real traffic study of the intersection of Old 22 and Route 737 in Krumsville – not at the property located north of this intersection.

 

BoS Meeting April 3, 2017

The meeting went very well.  The Board of Supervisors took a lot of time to inform, educate and answer questions.  We presented our three completed “COMPLAINTS” and requested meeting minutes from the PENN DOT meetings.

Overall, each of the three complaints was addressed.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL:  They do have some water testing done, I have requested copies of the results of those test in which they found that in two local wells, nitrates are high.  (Safe for drinking, but higher than recommended).  They are also aware of the natural water source and it is being addressed in the Planning Commission.  And lastly, the extensive grading and destruction of the ground surface is also being addressed in the Planning Commission.
  • SECTION 102 PURPOSE: Regarding zoning.  It was clarified that Industrial Properties in any of the townships does allow for warehousing.  The parcel of property had been designated as Industrial because of it’s location close to I-78 and in an area which the township felt would be the least invasive to the surrounding community.  The developer, McMahon dropped a huge bomb on us during this discussion as that the plans to the Planning Commission are for a 44 bay warehouse, but the construction would encompass a building that could be expanded into 109 bays.
  • QUESTIONS REGARDING INCREASED TRAFFIC: I was advised at the meeting to bring these concerns to the April 12th PennDOT meeting.  I am putting together a listing of concerns we would all like to have addressed.  Several of the questions in this complaint were indirectly answered in the meeting notes from the PennDOT meeting in February.  However, none of the questions were answered directly and I did request that the questions be reviewed and answered by the next BoS meeting.

The current Township website and lack of updates, was noted at the meeting and we were told that we can certainly make a formal request, in the form of a complaint, to have the website updated with new information.  We were also informed there is an updated Greenwich Township Ordinances, dated 2014.  The one on the website is dated 2000.  And there is an updated Zoning Map dated 2012.  The one on the website is dated 2003.  I have formulated a website complaint complaint5_form to be presented to the BoS.  This copy here is not final, everyone’s input on what is missing, outdated, or should be included on their website is helpful.  We can add to this complaint.  The plan would be to bring it to the May 1 BoS meeting.

Some other issues raised were policing traffic and increased vagrant population (meaning travelers into the township that are staying on a very limited temporary basis, as in waiting to load or unload their trailer)  We do have a township constable position (website lists the constable as Keith Miller) however, we fall under the jurisdiction of the Hamburg State police barracks.  In the 17 years I have lived here, I have seen many accidents, and one fatality at the intersection of Route 737 and Old 22.  It takes the state police an average of 20 minutes to arrive on scene. They are not at all concerned with our local traffic and do not have the manpower to police our community.  This is a big issue.  All input on how to address this as a complaint is greatly appreciated.

It was recommended by a resident that we all have our wells tested prior to construction.  The test to be water flow, water quality and depth.  The water problem was brought up after our complaints were filed.  We all have had trouble with our wells during the construction of the bridge over I-78 with heavy sediment and cloudy residues caused by the vibrations from the construction.  Having the heavy construction right next to our homes will definitely cause more sediment problems and the biggest concern is our shallow wells going dry when the warehouse starts sucking water from the ground to run itself. Again, the township said that these things are being considered by DEP and if it should become a problem after construction and habitation of the warehouse, we could request testing.

It was brought up by two separate residents is “Who do we sue when things go wrong after construction of the warehouse because we are bringing all these concerns to the Township attention prior to construction.” 

We did mention to the BoS that their Statement to Support the Spirit of the Community is not being fulfilled.  Krumsville is home to 18 small family owned businesses and rural residential homes, several of which are old and historical.  Bringing a distribution warehouse into the community which will generate outrageous amounts of tractor trailer traffic is not IN THE SPIRIT OF THE COMMUNITY.

We did receive one meeting minutes. 020817_PENNDOT_meeting The other two meetings were not considered a “forum meeting” as only one person from each party was present.  There are no minutes from those two meetings.

When you read this document, you will find that PENN DOT does not take any responsibility about the tractor trailer traffic.  They clearly state that they have no plans to make the roads safer for tractor trailer traffic.  We need to petition to Greenwich Township to stop the construction of this warehouse based on the facts that increased tractor trailer traffic will cause undue safety concerns to the residents as well as create undue health hazards for those residents living along the proposed travel way in and out of the warehouse.

We are setting up ACTION ITEMS for the April 12th PENN DOT meeting and for the next Board of Supervisors meeting

At this time, the Planning Commission meeting for April 17th is cancelled as no new plans have been submitted by the Developer.  And there is no new business is the township from residents.

There is a public PENN DOT meeting scheduled for April 12th at 1:00 pm.  The BoS apologized to the residents that it cannot be in the evening, PENN DOT refused an evening public meeting.  We will be represented at that meeting and are encouraging all residents that cannot make that meeting to forward their concerns to me, so that I can address them.  I will be at that meeting.

We now have several more things to address in our township as well as with surrounding townships.

I am requesting several more documents from our township. RTKRequestForm040417, I will post those when they arrive.

If there is a document or documents that you would personally like to receive, the form is here at this link.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi!  My name is Dodie Sable, I live at 593 Old 22 in Krumsville (junction of Rt 737 and Old 22) I am here this evening to make several formal written requests for information and to ask some questions regarding the Crossroads X Warehouse project.  This is my husband, Marc Sable, and he will be recording this portion of the meeting so that we do not need to take notes.

(If they protest the recording, I will present them with a copy of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, Open Meetings Law)

First item:  At the Planning Commission meeting on March 20, 2017, it was brought to our attention by the committee members that there were three “private meetings” with PENN DOT regarding this proposed warehouse project.  We requested at that meeting to know the agenda of the meeting and what was discussed and we were denied that information.  According to Open Meetings Law, “The law defines a meeting as *any prearranged gathering of an agency which is attended or participated in by a quorum of the members of an agency held for the purpose of deliberating agency business or taking official action.*”

According to the Pennsylvania Right To Know Law, the details of these “private meetings” are public and I am Filing a Written Request1 for the minutes of the three meetings with PENN DOT.

Second item: File Complaint regarding Direct Conflict with Article VIII 801.1 and 801.2 complaint3_form – will review at the meeting

Third item: File Complaint about warehouse and increased tractor trailer traffic complaint1_form – will review at meeting

Fourth item: File Complaint about Violation of Greenwich Township Mission Statement complaint2_form – will review at meeting

Fifth item: File Complaint that Greenwich Township is not living up to its Statement to Support The Spirit of the Community.  Our community is a residential and small local family owned businesses community.  A warehouse does not fit in with that spirit. country_life_brochure – will review at meeting.

The PA Agricultural Ombudsman Program offers statewide liaison services to communities for conflict management on issues affecting agriculture, land use, environment and planning.

Please contact:

  • Lancaster Co. Conservation District
  • 1383 Arcadia Road Rm. 200
  • Lancaster, PA 17601
  • 717-299-5361, ext. 5

or

  • Blair Co. Conservation District
  • 1407 Blair Street
  • Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
  • 814-696-0877, ext. 5

Sixth item:  I will request that we discuss each individual line on the Ordinance as outlined at this link.