PRESENT VIA ZOOM – Vice Chair Kline, Member McMenamin, Member Farnen, Manager Hegele, Assistant Secretary DeRenzis, County Planner Mohr, and Secretary Bollendorf were present.
CALL TO ORDER – Manager Hegele called the January 12, 2021 Planning Commission to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Manager Hegele led the Pledge of Allegiance.
NOMINATION OF CHAIRMAN OF PLANNING COMMISSION – Member Farnen made a motion to appoint Kris McMenamin to Chairman of the Planning Commission. Motion was seconded by Member Kline, all ayes. Motion carried 3-0.
NOMINATION OF VICE CHAIR OF PLANNING COMMISSION – Member Farnen made a motion to appoint Luann Kline to Vice Chair of the Planning Commission. Motion was seconded by Chairman McMenamin, all ayes. Motion carried 3-0.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Member Farnen made a motion to approve the December 8, 2020 Planning Commission Meeting Minutes. Motion was seconded by Vice Chair Kline, all ayes. Motion carried 3-0.
HISTORIC OVERLAY ORDINANCE DISCUSSION
Planner Mohr drafted two documents for the Historic Preservation Overlay Ordinance and stated that they are works in progress but will give the PC an overview of what the whole structure will be.
Member Farnen stated that a bank in R4 didn’t make sense unless it was a mixed-use building. Chairman McMenamin stated that he didn’t see that use being utilized much if at all.
Member Farnen stated that there are some areas where it would make sense but doesn’t want it to open up to things being more commercialized in a residential area. Member Farnen used the TD Bank at Lehman and York as an example and therefore thinks there should be some restrictions on those types of businesses. Member Farnen stated that her concern was that the lights at night would be a disturbance and stated that she didn’t have a problem specifically with a bank but anything that had a drive thru. Chairman McMenamin stated that they could specify the lights would be restricted on where they are placed so not to disturb residents.
Planner Mohr stated that she is proposing adding gallery with library or museum as a use and all members agreed it was a good idea.
Planner Mohr stated that for an event facility, they could put a limit on the amount of square footage, hours, or guests and that Cressbrook would be a good example and she thinks it would be a good use for that property. She also stated that there are some properties on York Road where it may be a problem so they should make sure that the limits are appropriate for all of the locations.
Planner Mohr stated that she included a light repair shop as one of the uses in the districts and they could fix small appliances, bikes, or shoes as some examples. All members agreed it was a good addition as a potential use.
Planner Mohr stated that she added restrictions as far as square footage and lighting that are already in our other ordinances, but she added it so that it would also apply.
Planner Mohr stated that last time they talked about relief from the parking requirements under Dimensional Relief and she thinks that it is best to reference the parking section. She stated that it is her recommendation to put something in the off street parking section of the zoning ordinance which already exists and that they reference that parking requirements may be reduced which is an existing section of our ordinance and her recommendation in the Historic Preservation Overlay is to put all requirements in the existing parking section and to reference that.
Planner Mohr stated that the Historical Commission would like a review of properties that are adjacent to Historic Resources that are on the list in order to preserve the use of the structures. She also stated that Historic Preservation is a valid purpose of zoning, so you are allowed to do things with your zoning for the purpose of Historic Preservation. Member Farnen stated that she thinks there should be a set-back requirement for any new building to be constructed near a Historic Resource and she used Victorian Village and Loller Academy as an example, so you are not blocking the view from the street. Chairman McMenamin agreed and stated that the proximity of how close it should be to the property line should also be considered. Planner Mohr state that there should be some sort of review criteria included and stated it should be specific as you do not want an adjacent property to put an addition on which could potentially block the view of the Historic Resource.
Planner Mohr asked if they want to accept nominations for Historical Resources from anyone who is not a resident or property owner and Chairman McMenamin stated he thinks they should restrict it to only residents or property owners. All members agreed with this. Planner Mohr also stated that she will not refer to a structure as a Historical Resource unless it is on the registry because technically a building is not an Historical Resource unless it is on the registry.
Planner Mohr also stated that any applications for Historic work permits would be reviewed by the Historical Commission and if they do not recommend issuing the permit, then they have to specify what the applicant would need to do to get it approved.
Planner Mohr stated that the section on demolition should be more specific as you do not want a property owner to demolish a Historic building because they feel it should be and there can be two different types as one would apply to just Historic Preservation where you would have more criteria to meet in order to be able to do that.
Planner Mohr stated that our current off street parking ordinance states that required off street parking may be reduced up to 50% for a non-residential use located in an Historically significant structure and she thinks that should be adjusted to Historic Resource on the Historic Registry and parking will have to be reviewed as a conditional use. Member Kline stated that we are better off starting off with a lower number so it can be increased as opposed to taking it back. Chairman McMenamin agreed that taking the percentage up is easier than bringing it down.
OLD BUSINESS – There was no old business.
NEW BUSINESS – There was no new business.
PUBLIC COMMENT – There was no public comment.
NEXT MEETING DATE – The next Planning Commission Meeting will be Tuesday, February 9, 2021.
ADJOURNMENT – Vice Chair Kline made a motion to adjourn the January 12, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting. Motion was seconded by Member Farnen, all ayes. Motion carried 3-0. Chairman McMenamin adjourned the January 12, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting at 8:49 P.M.
Respectfully submitted by:
Diane Hegele/Borough Manager
Transcribed by Cindy Bollendorf