Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania

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04-23-2018 - Board of Supervisors Minutes

MINUTES OF MEETING

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

APRIL 23, 2018

 

            At 7:00 p.m. Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called to order the executive session.  In attendance were Supervisors Michael J. Fox, Jeffrey W. McDonnell and Matthew W. Quigg.  Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford was absent.  Also in attendance were Police Chief J. Scott Bendig, Police Recruit Officer Candidates Connor Kreston and Nicholas Eufrasio, Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan and Township Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire.

            Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called the action meeting to order at 8:04 p.m.  In attendance were Supervisors Michael J. Fox, Jeffrey W. McDonnell and Matthew W. Quigg.  Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford was absent. Also in attendance were Township Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire, Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan, Police Chief J. Scott Bendig, Director of Fire Services Richard Lesniak, Director of Finance Ami Tarburton, Assistant to the Township Manager Stacy Crandell, Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe, Director of Public Works Kevin Costello, Director of Recreation and Community Center Floyd Shaffer, Director of Information Technology Richard Grier, Public Information Coordinator Kelsey Whalen and Recording Secretary Deborah A. Rivas.

            Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera called for public comment from the audience. 

            Under public comment, Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera reported that in response to complaints raised by the residents of the Montgomery Preserve and Montgomery Knoll developments, the Township will be taking several actions in the event that the Cutler Group does not move forward with completion of development site improvements as required by the approved plans.  These actions will include authorizing Township staff to complete the application/contracting process with PECO to energize the streetlights on Enclave Boulevard; authorize the Township Engineer to prepare plans and specifications to perform restoration of street light wire trench areas along the entire length of Enclave Boulevard and complete grading and seeding of the landscape area between Enclave Boulevard and Preserve Lane; authorize the Township Engineer to prepare plans and specifications to complete paving base repairs and final paving in Montgomery Preserve and Montgomery Knoll developments; and request that the Montgomery Township Municipal Sewer Authority perform sewer authority punch list work in anticipation of final paving work in Montgomery Preserve and Montgomery Knoll. The Township’s goal is to have the ability to award contracts for this work at the second meeting in June. In addition, she noted that the Township will work on removing the illegal trailer at the intersection of Enclave Boulevard and Bethlehem Pike.  After these safety items are addressed, landscaping and other non-critical matters will be addressed.     

            Under public comment, Sheila Lessick of 100 Bayhill Drive, Tom Sanna of 140 Bayhill Drive, Lea Stein of 128 Bayhill Drive, Tom Harker of 130 Bayhill Drive and Allen Solomon of 138 Bayhill Drive commented on the need for completion of the outstanding improvements as soon as possible. Mrs. Stein reported that they have organized their homeowners association and will be meeting with the Cutler Group for the turnover of the roads that will become the association’s responsibility.  They also presented additional concerns about the final paving of driveways, dumping of construction trash and reimbursements Cutler owes to several homeowners.              Also under public comment, Robert and Rebecca Marcantuono of 118 Horseshoe Lane reported their concern with the ash tree removal project work being performed behind their house. They commented on their displeasure that the trees were cut down and were just left lying on the ground. They advised that when they inquired with Township staff as to what would be happening with the trees, they were told that they would be left that way. They demanded that they would like to have them removed. Mrs. Marcantuono reported that she had sent multiple emails and photos to the Township and that this issue is making the value of their home go down. In addition, Mrs. Marcantuono stated that her research provided her with information that showed deadwood areas contain insects, salamanders, snakes, mice and shrews and she has an 18 month old child who already has respiratory distress. She stated that this is not how they are going to have their home.

             Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox stated that the emerald ash borer arrived in the Township over five years ago and the Board was put on notice that all of the Township’s ash trees would eventually die due to the ash borer. He explained that the Township’s first responsibility is the safety of the residents and the Township has been advised by the Township’s arborist, insurance carrier, solicitors and landscape architect that the Township needed to take action to get these trees on the ground.  Vice Chairman Fox said that the trees are on Township property and at some point after the project is complete, the landscape architect and arborist will go back and visit the various locations to determine if additional work is necessary. This visit is not expected to happen anytime soon. Mrs. Marcantuono asked for a definitive plan in July or August for this action. Vice Chairman Fox indicated that he could not and would not give a definitive plan because the Township does not know when the cutting projects will all be completed.  Mrs. Marcantuono indicated that she will be coming back to each Board meeting until this matter is appropriately dealt with.

            Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera made a motion to have the Township staff take care of the interim actions as noted for the Cutler Developments and previously discussed under public comment.  Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox seconded the motion which was approved unanimously by a majority vote of 4 to 0, Supervisor Tanya C. Bamford was absent.

            Solicitor Robert J. Iannozzi, Esquire announced that the Board had met in an executive session on April 16, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. to discuss the Cutler Development matter and again this evening prior to this meeting to discuss a matter of personnel, a review of zoning matters, the Cutler matter, a matter of potential litigation and an update on the police contract. Mr. Iannozzi stated that these matters are legitimate subjects of executive session pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law.

            Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 9, 2018 Board of Supervisors meeting, and Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox seconded the motion.  The minutes of the meeting were unanimously approved as submitted.

            Director of Recreation and Community Center Floyd Shaffer announced that Derek Muller is being recommended for consideration for appointment to the position of Recreation and Community Center Supervisor effective April 23, 2018.  Derek is continuing his professional career with Montgomery Township after nearly six years of employment with the City of Philadelphia Park and Recreation Department.  Derek holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from LaSalle University and his education and employment experiences in the community recreation arena have prepared him quite well for his upcoming duties with Montgomery Township.  Resolution #1 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, approved the appointment of Derek Muller to the position of Recreation and Community Center Supervisor, effective April 23, 2018.

            Public Information Coordinator Kelsey Whalen announced the launch of the Township’s recently redesigned website. The Township’s main goal for the redesign was to give the community a mobile and tablet friendly experience, a modern look, a more organized and user friendly site, social media integration and a special focus on resident/community services and events.  Mrs. Whalen reported that over the course of the last ten (10) months, the Township and eGov Strategies have worked hard on meeting this goal, as well as collaborating on ideas, concepts, color schemes, design formats, and different content organization options, and Township staff are very pleased with the final outcome.  The launch of the redesigned website will be announced on all forms of Township communication channels.

            Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that since 1985, the Public Employees Roundtable (PER) and its member organizations have celebrated Public Service Recognition Week.  This year it is being celebrated the week of May 6th through May 12th, 2018. Throughout the nation it is recognized as a time to show appreciation to the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees for their contribution to the safety, security and efficiency of our communities.  Resolution #2 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and approved unanimously, recognized the week of May 6th through May 12th, 2018 as Public Service Recognition Week.

            Planning Director Bruce Shoupe reported that the Shade Tree Commission sponsors an annual event to celebrate Arbor Day.  This year, the Annual Arbor Day Tree Give-Away will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at the Montgomery Township Community and Recreation Center.  Montgomery Township has also been named as a 2017 Tree City USA recipient with a presentation of the award by our State Forester scheduled during the event as well.  Resolution #3, made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera and adopted unanimously, urge all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and to support efforts to protect trees and woodlands. 

            At 8:49 p.m. Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera opened the continued Public Hearing for a proposed Conditional Use application for ProReal Ventures LLC – Shine Time Carwash C 68 – DeKalb Pike and Welsh Road.  Notes of testimony were taken by Court Stenographer Mark Manfredi. The applicant, ProReal Ventures LLC, is seeking Conditional Use approval to construct a 4,594 square foot automatic car wash on 1.816-acre lot at the northeast corner of DeKalb Pike and Welsh Road, the former Atomic Tire property. The applicant proposes to provide car stacking for approximately 66 vehicles and parking for employees and customers totaling 34 spaces.  Access to the site is shown as a “right in only” driveway entrance on an existing curb cut located on the Welsh Road frontage of the site and a “right in/right out only movement” driveway entrance and exit through an existing curb cut located on the DeKalb Pike frontage of the site.  The original hearing was continued to this date in order for the applicant to address traffic concerns raised by the Township’s traffic engineer, Traffic Planning and Design.  Kimberly Friemuth, Esquire, representing the applicant, addressed the changes that were made to the access and layout of the car wash in accordance with the recommendations of the Township Traffic Engineer.  The Board of Supervisors was satisfied with the plan as revised and the hearing closed at 9:02 p.m.  Resolution #4 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera and adopted unanimously, approved the Conditional Use application for ProReal Ventures LLC for Shine Time Car Wash C68 – DeKalb Pike and Welsh Road. 

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that ProReal Ventures, LLC is seeking a waiver of screening buffer requirement for its Shine Time Car Wash plan.  Under Section 230-78A of the Zoning Ordinance, the Board of Supervisors can waive or reduce the required 25-foot planting area if the side or rear boundary lines abuts commercial or industrial uses or zoning districts.  The side and rear property lines of this project abuts the C-Commercial zoning district.  Resolution #5 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera and adopted unanimously, approved the waiver of screening buffer requirement for ProReal Ventures LLC – Shine Time Car Wash at DeKalb Pike and Welsh Road.  

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that the applicant, Montgomery Crossing Associates, is proposing to construct a new freestanding Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant near the signalized entrance off Welsh Road.  The Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution, granting the requested conditional use approval on March 26, 2018.  Under the Municipalities Planning Code, the Board is required to render a written decision on a conditional use application within 45 days after the last hearing on the application.  Pursuant to the Municipalities Planning Code, the Solicitor has prepared a formal decision and order memorializing the Board’s grant of the requested conditional use.  Under public comment, Millie Smith of 1316 W. Welsh Road stated that she was concerned about the placement of the building and the dumpster location, as well as making sure that restrictions that were put in place back in the 1990s with regard to this shopping center were still enforced, such as no outside speakers and keeping the lot sweepers to reasonable hours of usage.  The Board asked the applicant to address the concerns of Mrs. Smith as they move forward with the land development of this project. Resolution #6 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox and adopted unanimously, approved the Memorandum, Findings of Fact, Decision and Order regarding the Conditional Use application of Montgomery Crossing Associates. 

            Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe reported that Montgomery Crossing Associates has requested a waiver of the Township’s formal land development process for the proposed new Firebirds Wood Fired Grill at the Gwynedd Crossing Shopping Center located at 1210 Bethlehem Pike.  The applicant received relief from the Zoning Hearing Board for various dimensional standards and “outside seating” allowing the construction of a new Firebirds Wood Fired Grill restaurant near the signalized intersection of Welsh Road.  Resolution #7 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox and adopted unanimously, approved the waiver of formal land development application for Firebirds Wood Fired Grill – Gwynedd Crossing Shopping Center – LDS#695W.

            Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera opened the Public Hearing for a Liquor License Transfer, #LL-18-03 for Firebirds of North Wales, LLC at 9:19 p.m.  Notes of testimony were taken by Court Stenographer Mark Manfredi.  This is an inter-municipal transfer of a liquor license.  Mark Kozar, Esquire of Flaherty & O’Hara, representing the applicant, Firebirds of North Wales, LLC, presented his testimony on the requirements necessary for the liquor license transfer and Firebirds of North Wales LLC. Resolution #8 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, authorized the liquor license transfer for Firebirds of North Wales, LLC.

            Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that the Township maintains an employee handbook of personnel policies that is provided to all employees.  As laws, practices, and procedures change, the Township determines the need to update existing policies or to add new policies. Effective January 1, 2018, the US Department of Transportation amended its mandatory drug testing program, which is applicable to all CDL drivers. The amendment to the 5-panel drug test would require the opiate designation to be renamed to opioids, and the panel will now include the addition of four semi-synthetic opioids (hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone.) In order to maintain a drug-free and safe work environment within the community, Montgomery Township is proposing that the above change be implemented for all drug screening (including pre-employment and employees who hold a CDL Commercial Driver’s License and are subject to random testing).  Therefore, the following policies are being present for approval to reflect that update: Drug and Alcohol Policy for Employees with Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) 2008, 2016, and Post-Offer, Pre-Employment Medical Examination and Substance Abuse Policy – 2016. Resolution #9 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, approved the Drug and Alcohol Policy for Employees with Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and Post-Offer, Pre-Employment Medical Examination and Substance Abuse Policy for distribution to employees and inclusion in the Montgomery Township Employee Handbook.

            Township Manager Lawrence J. Gregan reported that Ann Shade, Director of Administration and Human Resources, would like to attend the Delaware Valley Health Trust (DVHT) conference being held on June 20 – June 22 in Cambridge, Maryland. The Trust is responsible for payment of the costs associated with the conference. In general, the conference workshops are designed to inform members about the operations of the Trust, trends in health insurance and DVHT customized services. Resolution #10 made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, approved the request by Ann Shade to attend the out-of-state DVHT training conference on June 20 – June 22, 2018.

            Director of Public Works Kevin Costello reported that the Public Works Department currently has sixteen ASC2 traffic controllers in stock to repair the ASC2 traffic signal controllers at five of the Township’s intersections. Most Township intersections have been upgraded to the ASC3 or Colbalt C signal controllers, leaving just five intersections with the older technology.  Signal Control Products, a Township vendor, has a need for the ASC2 controllers, which can no longer be purchased new, for temporary intersections under construction in other municipalities.  Signal Control Products has offered to furnish two new Colbalt C controllers (valued at $2,400 each) in exchange for six of the Township’s ASC2 controllers (valued at no more than $900). It has been determined that the ten ASC2 controllers remaining in stock after the exchange will be adequate for any emergency needs of the Township and that the remaining five intersections will be upgraded to the ASC3 or Colbalt C, as needed.  Resolution #11 made by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, seconded by Supervisor Matthew W. Quigg and adopted unanimously, approved the disposal of six surplus ASC2 traffic signal controller assets with a value of $900 to Signal Control Products in exchange for two new Colbalt C controllers with a value of $4,800 in accordance with the Township’s Disposal Policy for Personal Property of the Township.

            A motion to approve the payment of bills was made by Chairman Candyce Fluehr Chimera, seconded by Vice Chairman Michael J. Fox, and adopted unanimously, approving the payment of bills as submitted.

            There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 9:32 p.m.