Acorn Lane residents speak out about sight lines

By on May 23, 2012

By: MELINDA ELMER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

A handful of residents from Acorn Lane attended Monday’s Elizabeth Township supervisors meeting to again ask if anything can be done about the limited sight lines when they try to enter Long Lane from their private lane.

Acorn Lane is a long, privately-owned cul-de-sac off Long Lane. Mailboxes for the 20-plus homes are located at the intersection of Acorn and Long lanes, essentially in the front yard of one resident. That resident did not attend Monday’s meeting.

The residents who did attend said that the shrubs around the gang mailboxes impede the clear line of sight. "You have to pull half way out into the road to see if anybody’s coming," resident Harry Turner said.

Turner noted that the ordinance requires a 100-foot clear sight triangle for a driveway.

Dirk Schoenberger of Acorn Lane said he feels like the township authorities pick and choose when they want to treat Acorn Lane like a private road (no winter plowing) and when they want to treat it like a public road and enforce zoning regulations.

Schoenberger said that a number of years ago when he was building his Acorn Lane home, he had to move his home back to comply with set-back guidelines "after the foundation was poured, at considerable expense to my builder and myself." He questioned why the resident at the corner of Acorn and Long has not been required to comply with the township’s ordinance regarding clear sight distances.

Supervisor chairman Brian Wiker explained that ordinances are only enforced for new projects. In other words, the township will not require residents to upgrade their properties every time the ordinance is revised.

The resident on whose property the mailboxes are located allegedly told residents that the postmaster had told her that the residents may place their boxes on their properties. Those residents claim that the post office will not deliver mail on a road that does not receive winter maintenance.

"Our taxes are the same as other residents’," Schoenberger said. "We have to follow the ordinance the same as everybody else. Would it be asking too big a favor of you to clean off the hill (Acorn Lane) on your way past?"

Wiker explained that the township could take over ownership of the lane if the residents brought the road up to township standards. The residents said that had been tried in the past, but failed because it required 100 percent resident participation, but two or three did not agree with the proposition.

Road superintendent Glenn Martin explained that the township has a number of privately-owned roads, and he can’t set the precedent of plowing for one road and not the others.

"I really want to help you," Wiker said. "We do trim back (the shrubs) to our legal set-back line. I hope that everyone can come to an understanding and take care of (the situation) in a neighborly manner."

"Ain’t gonna happen!" another resident called out.

"Obviously we are going to contact our solicitor on this," said Wiker.

"We’ll see what we get back and let you know," supervisor Rodney May promised.

"We’ll be here until it’s resolved," Turner said.

In other business:

? Elizabeth Township supervisors lifted the burn ban put in force at the April 9 meeting. Although the county lifted its burn ban earlier this month, Elizabeth Township’s ban remained in effect until last Monday.

? Supervisors Jeff Burkholder and Rodney May attended a meeting regarding Speedwell Forge Lake with the Fish and Boat Commission, the Conservation District and the Department of Environmental Protection. "There is a large concern with the dam," May said. "The Fish and Boat Commission wants to breech the (deteriorating) dam at the natural outflow channel. They would install a large horseshoe of stone to catch the sediment. There is concern about the sediment all the way down to the (Chesapeake) Bay."

May also said there is talk of using natural vegetation to hold the sediment, although there is a question about what vegetation would be best suited for the job.

? The supervisors adopted a resolution "expressing the desire of Elizabeth Township to ensure the welfare, safety and economic well-being of the Hammer Creed Watershed and the use of taxpayer funds." Copies of the resolution will be sent to the state legislators.

? The supervisors also adopted a resolution "urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to eliminate or amend the State Prevailing Wage Act. Currently governmental projects costing $25,000 or more must pay prevailing wage, a threshold that hasn’t changed since the 1960s. A proposal would raise that threshold to $185,000 and adjust it annually by the consumer price index.

? The township received a grant approval for up to $7,800 for trees in the Elizabeth Township Community Park. This is a matching grant, but the match can be "in kind" services, using the township’s road crew and equipment, May explained. Four people have been trained as "tree tenders".

? In other park business, May noted that the gentleman who mows the community park had an incident recently in which a resident allowed her dogs to roam in the park. The mower ran over the area where the dog had "dumped," throwing it up over the back of the man’s shirt and neck. He approached the resident "and they had a lively conversation," May said.

May called the state dog officer, who said that the law states that dogs must be "under control." There was discussion about the definition and length of a leash and whether shock collars are electronic leashes.

"Before we start changing the ordinance, I’d like to see what we can do with what we have," Wiker said. Additional signage will be posted. No one wants dogs to be disallowed at the park, but it might come to that without residents’ cooperation and responsibility in controlling and cleaning up after their dogs.

? The Brickerville Fire Company responded to 12 fire calls, 44 ambulance calls and eight fire police incidents in April.

? The zoning officer issued seven permits in March for work valued at $425,620.

? The sewage enforcement officer issued a permit for one repair in April.

? The monthly collection of recyclable will be on June 2 from 8 a.m. until noon at the municipal building on South View Drive.

? The road superintendent reported that the bathrooms are installed at Elizabeth Township Community Park but there is still work to be done. Walkways will be installed and picnic tables should arrive soon.

? The planning commission will meet on May 17 and on June 6 at 7 p.m.

? The board of supervisors will meet on June 11 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building at 423 South View Drive, Brickerville.

Upcoming community events include:

? Penryn Fire Company’s Tour of Penryn celebration will be on June 16 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

? The third annual Rec Alliance Bike Ride will be on June 24.

? The Lititz recCenter’s free summer playground program will be held Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon and Thursday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. from June 21 to August 9 for children ages five through 12. The recCenter staff has been trained in first aid and has had background checks and clearances. No pre-registration is required, although information must be provided the first time the child attends the program.

? Penryn Fire Company’s parade will be on Sept. 15. More ELIZABETH TWP., page A6