Oh Boy …
For the first time since March 2017 that I have been attending these Planning Commission meetings, we had a full compliment of PC members sitting at the table. This (in itself) was dire, as it meant that something important was going on. We were all aware that the developer had submitted revised plans and they were going to be reviewed by K.C.E. and the review presented tonight.
And in the audience were all three Board Members.
The agenda had the hearing of the visitors at the end of the meeting, instead of near the beginning as usual. We were okay with that because we needed to hear what the developer had to say. They had a full presentation complete with diagrams and large white board photos.
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Meyer, developer engineer. It shows the major change, which is the driveway moved south on the property. This change was enacted because PennDOT and Greenwich Twp denied the developer the ability to change the intersection of Long Lane.
YAY! (however, we need to review LOS on this driveway change)
They stated that they resubmitted their HOP last week. (I will follow up on that)
For their HOP, PennDOT requested that they perform another traffic study. Guess when they did that?
June 27th, 2017. They stated that they found the heaviest traffic day in Krumsville to be a Tuesday so they did an 11 hour “right turn study”. By a human, not an electronic counter, after school has let out so bus traffic, school parent traffic and school employee traffic counted in this study. Let’s take a wild guess on how accurate this count is going to be.
I raised my hand and said we had petitioned the BoS to request a 45 day TIS by PennDOT at this intersection. Dan Becker shut me down stating that the BoS was not going to do that and our petition was denied. Thank you, Dan . duly noted.
According to the developer’s attorney, Kate ?, PennDOT reviewed their study and stated that a signal upgrade is not warranted based on the current traffic patterns and the proposed additional traffic (based on a revised study they performed – see page 4 of the engineering review)
Marc stood up and disputed their new numbers, quoting the 8th edition of ITE, which Chris Noll of K.C.E did have. Marc asked this question, “Do you have a tenant for this warehouse?”
THE ROOM WENT QUIET. So quiet, that you could hear a pin drop. For a period of several seconds, no-one spoke. Marc then broke the silence and asked again how they can publish a quoted number of trips when they do not know who the tenant will be as the ITE 10th edition clearly states that trip numbers will vary greatly based on the warehouse tenant. He then asked the question a second time and the solicitor for the developer shook her head in the negative and then said, “Not at this time.”
Okay then, we will continue to be disputing their “trip” numbers
I brought up that there were several local residents have been involved in accidents in this intersection, one of those residents is permanently disabled. Dan Becker asked the PC members to gather information for the past 12 month on “reported incidents” in this intersection for review. Dan then added that after reviewing the reported incidents, the Planning Commission would want (direct quote) “to speak with PennDOT one more time in regards to the dangers of this intersection, assuming that there were injuries in the reported incidents.” (ACTION ITEM #1)
Marlin asked about the Rhoades Rd junction and Kate (the developer’s solicitor) stated that PennDOT found it compliant. (What does that mean?)
Fred asked about road stress testing that he had submitted in May 2017 and Dan stated that neither PennDOT nor the township would be performing a road stress study.
They continued their review of the changes they made to the plans and the PADEP Hydro Study had been completed and submitted. (Septic/sewage) I asked if their would be a 30 Day Public Comment period for the Module and will the Supervisors be taking testimony? They referred me to our township SEO. (okay, I will follow up on that, too)
Marlin asked about the water problems during the construction of I-78 interchange and quoted that being a food business, they were under strict USDA testing. Dan stated that they would investigate the water issue.
I did not catch his name, but a resident asked about a baseline on the stream flowing off the property and how would it be affected. The response was that it is a Class D stream and not under study at this time.
At this time, Chris Noll, representative of K.C.E. stated (and I quote directly) “At this time there are no outstanding issues and the technical review is complaint, we now wait on the third party permits.”
HOLY MOLEY: Really? K.C.E. is ready to sign off on and give a preliminary recommendation? The audience began mumbling among themselves and it got a little loud.
Kate (speaking loudly to be heard over the mumblings) said they had requested two waivers. One for the recreational study and one for the utilities study. Dan responded that he wanted to review those two SALDO items before making comment. (ACTION ITEM #2)
Now it is time for public comment. Oh boy, I have six items to review. As I started to speak, clearly stating my name and that I was speaking on behalf of the 72 residents that had filed with the township that I had the okay to speak on their behalf, Kate interrupted that was not allowed. Dan shut her down stating that I was allowed to speak on the resident’s behalf and it helped keep the meeting organized. (THANK YOU DAN!)
PETITION FOR ADDITIONAL TRAFFIC STUDIES (already stated this was denied)
COMPLAINT REGARDING EXCESSIVE GRADING (Kate states that we may misunderstand the ordinance and the SALDO requirements) we will have that reviewed by an outside engineer before the next PC meeting
COMPLAINT ABOUT INCREASED TRAFFIC (already covered earlier)
DISPUTE OF McMAHON STATED TRIPS (already covered and we are STILL disputing)
PETITION FOR ADDITIONAL WATER/SEWAGE STUDIES (was referred to the SEO)
COMPLAINT ABOUT PROPERTY DAMAGES
Dan asked the Planning Commission members if they had reviewed these items. They all stated “No.” He asked Chris Noll if Keystone Consulting Engineers had reviewed these against the current ordinances. He replied, “No” (and rolled his eyes – I am really tired of Chris’s constant disrespect at these meetings. He has the worst professional mannerisms.)
Kate interrupted and stated (direct quote) “We have the right to build a warehouse based on your ordinances.”
Dan concurred and stated that due to the magnitude of the plans, that each complaint needed to be reviewed thoroughly. He continued that there were several items that needed a better review and understanding of so he directed the Planning Commission members to review our resident’s complaints. He asked Jane (the township secretary) if she had copies of all that information to forward to the PC members in an email. Shse said she would look. I interjected that anything she didn’t have, I would be happy to forward to her. (ACTION ITEM #3)
Dan concluded the meeting with this statement. “At this time we should not make a recommendation to the BoS about these plans until all these items have been thoroughly reviewed.” (note here, Chris Noll was making all kinds of negative faces and eye rolls. It was very distracting from Dan’s comments and I received many emails and FB messages regarding his body language.)
Fred asked to borrow a copy of the plans. Michael Stevens willingly offered his copy to Fred for review.
Marc took HR photos of each page of the plan so we could have it reviewed by our own engineer.
Joyce Dietrich brought up at this time that she was still waiting on a response from the land owner regarding the noxious weed, mare’s tail (horse weed). It is a very invasive weed and invades crops, destroying their growth cycle. Our local farmers take steps to keep the mare’s tail weed out of their crops and since this property is now fallow, the weeds are out of control. They begin to seed in the fall and those seeds will spread to the surrounding fields.
Greenwich Township does not have a weed ordinance, so we cannot enforce them to mow the field or spray the field. Dan asked the property owner, in good faith as a good neighbor, to do something to control the weeds. The property owner stated, “We will take this under advisement.”
Now that we’re aware that K.C.E. is ready to make a recommendation, we need to approach the BoS at the September meeting to reiterate our concerns. They do have the discretionary authority to deny these plans, regardless of any issues, given to them by The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We will urge them to use that authority to preserve the rights of their community residents not to have this warehouse.
And we will have a review done on the new plans before the next PC meeting.