Elizabeth Twp. ponders regional planningJoining Lititz and Warwick would save money

By on December 21, 2011

By: MELINDA S. ELMER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Lancaster County Planning Commissioner Gwen Newell told the Elizabeth Township Supervisors on Monday that its neighboring municipalities, Lititz Borough and Warwick Township, are currently updating their comprehensive plans, expecting to complete them in 2012.

She asked if Elizabeth Township would "want to come on board," increasing the possibility of receiving state grant money to fund the process. Regional plans are given precedence over local plans for grant funds.

"Comprehensive plans shall be updated every 10 years and Elizabeth Township is up for an update," Newell said. "Lititz and Warwick are doing the process in-house, with county support from (Newell) and with help from the county GIS (mapping) system."

Newell expects the cost would be in the $5,000 to $7,000 range.

"It’s not free, but it’s cheaper than doing it on your own," she said. "Sustainability and economic stability should be emphasized," Newell added.

Supervisor Chairman Brian Wiker asked, "Is there any evil to it?"

"There might be some ideas that, because (Elizabeth Township is) more rural, won’t apply to you. Mostly it depends on how well you get along with your neighbors. I see very little negative. You already do the regional recreation commission very well," Newell answered.

Supervisor Jeff Burkholder said he would want to hear what Elizabeth Township Planning Commission President Robert Navitski has to say. The supervisors agreed to leave the matter to the planning commission for discussion.

Development ordinance

under review

Newell also noted that the township’s planning commission is currently diligently reviewing its subdivision and land development ordinance, focusing on the sketch plan section. The current direction is to "give more weight to the sketch plan to allow the ability to expedite the plan if the township and the developer agree," Newell said. She was asking if the supervisors were in favor of the proposal or if the planning commission should not spend time on it.

"What I heard at the Wednesday night (planning commission) meeting, I’m comfortable with it," Burkholder said.

Wiker asked for the county planning commission’s opinion.

"I think it’s a wonderful option, but it’s up to you guys and the (local) planning commission to decide," Newell said.

Venture Lititz

in transition

Supervisor Rodney May noted that Venture Lititz is in transition to becoming a Regional Economic Development Commission (EDC), Elizabeth Township is invited to join the group.

"We might be somewhat rural to go along with it," he said. "It is mostly for business retention and growth. We have no infrastructure per se, no water and sewer. I don’t know how we could grow.

"The Lancaster County EDC would be Big Brother looking over our shoulder. Lititz would be the hub, with Warwick surrounding it and we would bring up the rear."

"What I’m struggling to see is what this does for Elizabeth Township and our residents," Wiker said. "We don’t have businesses coming to us and asking us to participate. We don’t have infrastructure. With no real estate tax, it doesn’t benefit the township."

"I’m not sure I want this township to grow in businesses. I want to keep it (rural)," Burkholder added.

The supervisors will invite regional EDC president Jim Wenger to speak to the board at their February meeting.

Route 501

traffic study

The supervisors also dealt with two items of business from the November meeting. First, they voted 2-1 to send a letter of request to PennDOT recommending a traffic study of Route 501 in the area between Waldeck and Fox roads. Burkholder cast the dissenting vote, "because I don’t think it’s necessary."

Resident Janice Sexton approached the supervisors last month hoping for a reduction of the speed limit to 45 mph. She also requested signs indicating "driveway ahead" and "curve ahead," and repairs to the damaged road surface.

Fire police not

authorized to help

Elizabeth Farms

Also, at the recommendation of legal counsel, the supervisors rescinded authorization for fire police to conduct traffic control for Elizabeth Farms’ Christmas light show this season. Workers compensation insurance likely would not cover an injured worker because the two-month show is ongoing, not a special event for which the fire police are authorized.

In other business

? The supervisors reappointed Timothy Diehm to the vacancy board, and reappointed Joe Pfautz II to a three-year term on the zoning hearing board. They set the 2012 compensation for the zoning hearing board members at $45 for the first hearing and $40 for the second hearing, the same as this year.

? Supervisors also reappointed Robert Navitski to the planning commission. They regretfully received the resignation of Peter Parsil from the park board and appointed Steven Garman to complete his term. May noted that Parsil will continue with the tree grant project for the park.

? The Brickerville Fire Company responded to 10 calls, the Brickerville Ambulance answered 40 calls and the Brickerville Fire Police assisted at 14 calls in November.

? The zoning officer issued five permits in November for work valued at $85,200.

? The sewage enforcement officer issued one permit.

? Recycling will be received on Saturday, Jan. 7, from 8 a.m. until noon at the municipal building. Christmas trees will be accepted for mulching through the first Saturday in February, in a temporary fenced area at the municipal building. Please remove all lights, ornaments and other metal parts. More ELIZABETH TWP., page A22

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