Salisbury Press

Sunday, January 19, 2020

SALISBURY twp PLANNING COMMISSION

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Local News

Contractor submits plan for building on Fourth St.

A building for a painting contractor firm is proposed for along South Fourth Street in Salisbury Township.

Roche Painting would construct an approximate 2,000-square-foot building on a 1.1-acre tract at 2686 S. Fourth St.

Aaron Roche, of Roche Painting LLC, said the building would house supplies and provide him an office.

Roche and Edward Schlaner Jr., of Martin H. Schuler Company, an Allentown civil engineering and surveying company, presented the sketch plan and answered questions at the Sept. 12 Salisbury Township Planning Commission meeting.

Because it’s a sketch plan, the commission was not required to vote on it.

According to the planners’ meeting agenda, the site for the land development “is vegetated with some steep slopes.” The property is in the township’s C-2 Zoning Neighborhood Commercial District and includes a portion in the R-4 Zoning Medium Density Residential District.

Salisbury Township Consulting Engineer David J. Tettemer, of Keystone Consulting Engineers, Inc., read from his Aug. 18 review letter that listed 18 items and highlighted three items:

•Eight parking spaces are depicted, whereas 12 parking spaces, plus spaces for company vehicles, would be required.

•A buffer zone of 30 feet from a residential lot line is required, but only 21 feet on the south side and 17 feet on the north side are depicted on the sketch plan. A variance would be required.

•Sidewalks and curbs: There are apparently no sidewalks in the Salisbury Township portion along South Fourth Street, but there are curbs. Since South Fourth Street, which is a very busy street, is a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation jurisdiction highway, PennDOT consultation and approval is needed for any changes. Tettemer suggested consideration of a walking path made of compacted material.

Salisbury Township Director of Planning and Zoning Cynthia Sopka read from her Aug. 21 review letter, saying she agreed with Tettemer’s review letter. “The project requires 12 parking places and the applicant proposes eight,” Sopka said. “A variance would be required.”

Sopka said there are slopes of 25 percent of about 2,500-square-feet. Sopka said the proposal would also have to go before the Salisbury Township Zoning Hearing Board for a steep slope variance.

Noted planning commission member Richard Schreiter, “I think we’re encouraging curbing. I think we’d encourage a walking path.”

Said planning commission Vice Chairman Stephen McKitish, “It’s something to be considered.”

Added planning commission member Glenn Miller, “It’s more of a public safety issue. The traffic goes at a good rate of speed.”

Tettemer also said to Roche and Schlaner, ”We need some official documentation of what portion of the building you’re using.”

Regarding the 30-foot buffer requirement, Schlaner said, “The 30-foot buffer is something we can’t comply with. I think we’re going to have to go before the zoning hearing board.”

There was some discussion as to what percentage of the steep slopes are man-made.

“These are man-made. You would not need a variance,” Tettemer said.

Speaking during the public comment portion of the meeting were several township residents.

Gladys Gonzalez Lorenzi, who says she lives across the street from the proposed project, said, “I’m concerned about stuff being put along South Fourth Street. We already have a lot of traffic.” She also asked, “Is there going to be any paint containers? Will we smell anything?”

Replied Roche, “We’re a residential and commercial paint contractor. We’re latex-based. We have seven employees. We won’t do any work there.”

Joe Strano asked if there would be large trucks making deliveries.

“No tractor trailers. No manufacturing,” Roche said.

Kevin Stanley, who said he lives across the street from the proposed project, asked about the difference between a natural slope and a man-made slope.

Michael Morrisey said, “I’m worried about water consumption and sewage.”

“These people will pay their own fee,” Tettemer said.

The presentation, review and comments took about 30 minutes during the first part of the Sept. 12 meeting.

The Oct. 10 township planning commission meeting has been canceled because there were no site reviews submitted.