September 6, 2016 - Regular Meeting

Linda Woodward called the September 6, 2016 Planning Commission meeting to order at 6:30pm in the municipal building, Rupert, PA.

The pledge of allegiance was recited.

Present: Chairman Linda Woodward, Vice Chairman Forrest Bennett, Secretary Robert Webber and Paul Kreisher.  Josh Turner arrived at 7:20pm.  Also present: Supervisor Joe Mullen and Zoning Officer Tim Mauk.

The agenda was accepted as drafted.

MOTION Robert Webber, second Forrest Bennett, to approve the minutes of August 2, 2016 as drafted.  Motion carried.


Comprehensive Plan

In response to recommendations from the August 30, 2016 combined special meeting between the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission the following was discussed (1) Current Sewer Lines / New sewer lines (2) Intensive Agriculture Zone definition and defendable language (3) Low income and senior housing  (4)  cluster housing development  (5)  MS4 impact on Montour Run with zoning changes.

It was noted the State subsidizes mandated sewer areas only and does not subsidize private development.  The Township should open discussion with Bloomsburg, Hemlock, Cooper and other local townships concerning extending sewer lines to Montour Township.  Our system can be expanded 50% by adding additional pump stations.  A pump station can serve up to 20 homes.  The Township needs to discuss running these new lines. 

Joe Mullen recommended before designating an Intensive Agriculture Zone, Solicitor Roberts and Professional Planner Jerry Walls must agree on the definition and language that can support and defend this action. 

There is a 150 foot power line through the Agriculture Zone to be zoned SR.   Joe Mullen requested that this power line be placed on the zoning map to give a sense of the location.

Cluster development, rather than large lot development, is considered to be the ideal type of development for the Township.  Identify the landscape to be maintained and allow development but require an open area. 

A report on decisions and progress will be made at the September 8, 2016 Supervisor meeting.  Discussions on zoning revisions will continue.


Small Cell Tower Ordinance

Solicitor Roberts has asked the Planning Commission to identify potential locations for small cell towers.  Recommendations:

(1) Show that a small tower is necessary if a large tower is located in that area        

(2) Strict limitations in areas with underground utilities 

(3) Small tower use for rural areas without cell coverage (may be necessary) 

(4) Residential density (is a factor)


Amend Sign Ordinance

The proposed sign ordinance amendments were reviewed.  Item 8: add that 24 hours prior to voting no consent is needed to place a political sign.  Item 9: add “designated” entrance and (10) feet “radius”.  Item 11: Verify that 70 days prior to election is the correct number of days.  Item 13: change may to “shall”.  Item 14: delete “Zoning Officer”.  Also address the fact that a home owner association may control sign regulations for their development.


Public Comment

Tim Mauk will investigate the sign permit fees for nearby townships.  The Township must charge enough to cover costs.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20pm.

Respectfully submitted,


Robert Webber, Secretary, Montour Township Planning Commission