Planning Commission Minutes 2/9/2021

PRESENT VIA ZOOM– Chairman McMenamin, Vice Chair Kline, Member Hegele, Member Shay, Manager Hegele, Assistant Secretary DeRenzis, Secretary Bollendorf, and County Planner Mohr were present.

ABSENT – Member Farnen was absent.

CALL TO ORDER – Chairman McMenamin called the February 9, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chairman McMenamin.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Not enough present for a vote and Vice Chair Kline did not have a chance to review therefore this was tabled until the next meeting.

399 SPRINGDALE AVENUE LAND DEVELOPMENT – Joe Price and Peter Stampfi were present and asked if anyone had any questions or comments for them regarding this project. There were no questions or comments.

HISTORIC OVERLAY ORDINANCE DISCUSSION – County Planner Mohr gave a presentation on Historic Preservation.  

She stated that there are other aspects to preservation such as design guidelines, education and outreach, rehabilitation of physical structures, Grant funding, and informing owners about the significance of their own property and what they can do to help protect it. She also stated that as far as the ordinance, there are some specific details which should be included such as what can be considered historic, what activities require review and approval and what restrictions there might be, who will make the decisions about whether an alteration is ok or not and what are those decisions based on. She also stated that the ordinance will only apply to properties on the registry and that the ordinance establishes how the registry works.  

Member Hegele stated that he doesn’t think that any resident can nominate a property because the owner may not want to be on the registry. He also stated that he would feel better if only the property owner nominates themselves in addition to the Planning and Historic Commissions.

Rob Illuminati, property owner of 120 S. York Road, stated that he received his letter and was concerned that it would be harder to get permits for anything he may want to change down the road. He also stated there were a few blighted properties and wondered if they would have to change, for example, the paint color because of the ordinance. HC Vice Chair Thompkins stated that no, the ordinance will not force anyone to change anything but will have to go through the process for approval if they decide to down the road and that you can discuss things that are out of scope during the permit review.  

Chairman McMenamin stated that there should be a process to follow that will be clear and decisive for permit applications so that different permits are not running concurrently because wires will get crossed and property owners will be upset. HC Vice Chair Thompkins stated that his only concern is if the Historic review is approved then the permit is denied due to structural issues. Chairman McMenamin agreed. Manager Hegele stated that is a question for the BCO and thinks we should seek guidance form him as far as this process will go.

County Planner Mohr stated that the bonuses for going on the registry have been discussed by the Planning Commission but  Are on the table for comment and review. HC Vice Chair Thompkins stated that he thinks that the bonuses for R1 and R2 need to be scaled back a little bit. Planner Mohr stated that no restrictions are proposed currently as this is just a draft in progress. Chairman McMenamin stated his concern was an event facility as a use but that most properties and R1 and R2 would not meet the parking requirements. Planner Mohr stated that there would be fire code restrictions which would apply to any event facility so they could not pack a lot of people in.  

Vice Chair Kline stated that the design guidelines should be clear as far as what property owners can and cannot do. Manager Hegele agreed that design guidelines are important, so it gives the owners an idea of what they have to work with.

Chairman McMenamin stated that he agreed, and they can review the examples of design guidelines and come to the next meeting with specific criteria so that property owners know what the Boroughs expectations are.

HC Vice Chair Thompkins asked Chairman McMenamin if there was anything he would like the Historic commission to do in the meantime. Chairman McMenamin stated that they can review and come up with ideas for design guidelines, the Planning Commission will do the same and they can meet again to discuss their ideas.

OLD BUSINESS – There was no old business.

NEW BUSINESS – There was no new business.

NEXT MEETING DATE – The next Planning Commission Meeting will be Tuesday March 9, 2021.

ADJOURNMENT – Vice Chair Kline made a motion to adjourn the February 9, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting. Motion was seconded by Member Hegele, all ayes. Motion carried 4-0. Chairman McMenamin adjourned the February 9, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting at 8:23 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted by,

Diane C. Hegele/Borough manager

Transcribed by Cindy Bollendorf