Planning Commission Minutes 4/13/2021

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

ABSENT – Member Hegele was absent.

CALL TO ORDER – Chairman McMenamin called the April 13, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Chairman McMenamin led the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF MARCH 9,2021 MEETING MINUTES – Vice Chair Kline made a motion to approve the March 9, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting Minutes. Motion was seconded by Member Farnen, all ayes. Motion carried 4-0.


County Planner Mohr presented the revised ordinance with changes from last meeting and stated that she would like to focus on what exactly requires review and would like to get a Planning Commission recommendation to Council based on past discussions and previous input and new prioritization that came from the Historical Commission.

Chairman McMenamin asked if there was a way the review process can be moved along faster so that it is easier for Borough staff. Planner Mohr stated that in the draft she only included the items that were most important that needs a full review.

Manager Hegele stated that she already has a problem getting residents to comply with permits and they do not have a historical property so she does not want to make the process to prohibitive because then they will not want to do anything to fix the property. She also stated that she thinks there should be a list of what needs to be reviewed and then a design guideline for things such as doorknobs and paint and that they should prioritize what is important.

The members discussed the possibility of a work permit if the work to be done is front facing or what can be seen from the public right of way which includes, sidewalk, trail, plaza, park, street, or parking lot. Manager Hegele stated that she would like to see more in design guidelines as changing the guidelines if need be in the future is easier than changing the ordinance and therefore if the Borough adopts the design guidelines as a Resolution it will make it easier moving forward.

Planner Mohr stated that as far as adjacent properties or something that shares a site with a historical property, her colleagues feel that they should not be included in the review because then we would have to change their zoning as well. She also stated that a property owner who does not own a historical property may be upset that their home requires a review just because they are next to one. All members agreed that it would not be fair to do that to a property owner who resides next to a historical property. Planner Mohr stated that this can be addressed in the SALDO for a single-family dwelling next to a historical property.

Manager Hegele stated that she has a document that was submitted by a resident’s family member who had several concerns regarding the ordinance. She also stated that one of the things that they are questioning is the nomination process and she is not sure if this particular property will make the cut as Council has to nominate the properties that they would like on it. She also stated that they wanted to know what benefits a business or property owner have that does not want to make use changes.

Chairman McMenamin asked Planner Mohr to revise the draft and bring it back to the Planning Commission for a vote to go to Borough Council. Manager Hegele stated that Councilwoman Reichner can update Council at their April meeting to see what they would like to do as far as the steps for final approval.

APPROVE SENDING THE DRAFT HISTORIC OVERLAY ORDINANCE TO BOROUGH COUNCIL FOR A PRELIMINARY REVIEW – Vice Chair Kline made a motion to send the Draft Historic Overlay Ordinance to Borough Council for a preliminary review. Motion was seconded by Member Farnen, all ayes. Motion carried 4-0.

OLD BUSINESS – There was no old business.

PRIVILEDGE OF THE FLOOR – There was no public comment.

NEXT MEETING DATE – The next Planning Commission Meeting will be Tuesday June 8, 2021.

ADJOURNMENT – Member Farnen made a motion to adjourn the April 13, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting. Motion was seconded by Vice Chair Kline, all ayes. Motion carried 4-0. Chairman McMenamin adjourned the April 13, 2021 Planning Commission Meeting at 8:57 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted by:

Diane C. Hegele/Borough Manager/Zoning Officer/Open records Officer

Transcribed by Cynthia Bollendorf