Board postpones roadwork, approves rezoning

By on June 26, 2019

Plans to do maintenance on roads in a Warwick Township neighborhood were put on hold after several residents complained about the planned upkeep.

At the June 19 Warwick Township Board of Supervisors meeting, a half dozen residents of Buttonwood Drive, Pinewood Avenue, and Sensenich Drive presented a petition signed by 96 homeowners, asking that the planned roadwork not be done.

The township had been planning to do a bituminous sealcoat on the neighborhood roads in coming months, using a process called fog coat. The two-step process is done using a bituminous emulsion application followed by the application of finely crushed aggregate. The loose stones are then swept up a week or so later to create a smooth surface.

The money-saving process, which is more costly than standard oil and chip, is intended to give paved roads extended life, before more expensive repaving becomes necessary.

The residents were firmly opposed to having their neighborhood roads oiled and chipped.

Speaking on behalf of his neighbors, Pete Carson of Pinewood Avenue listed a number of drawbacks to seal coating the roads, including getting oil on cars, making the road surface uneven until the stone settles, creating ruts in winter, and causing issues for people using bicycles, skateboards, and motorcycles.

Another resident said that he would no longer be able to walk his dogs.

“Why are we thinking about using an inferior product on our roads?” asked Carson. “You are burning money on garbage.”

Warwick Township manager Daniel Zimmerman said that it was the first objection he had heard to the fog coat process in the township, which is used on many country roads and neighborhoods. Currently, several roads in the May development, including Cindy Lane and Douglas Drive are being the fog coated, with no complaints so far, according to Zimmerman.

Public Works superintendent Jason Minnich reported that the stone in fog coating would be a very fine aggregate that would settle in and seal possible cracks and other issues. The process would save money and give the roads an extra 7 to 8 years of life before expensive repaving would be necessary. The township attempts to get at least 20 years of life from a road before repaving becomes necessary.

Minnich agreed that the roads in question were currently in good condition, but said that the resurfacing maintenance was intended to keep them in good condition. He also agreed that it may cause temporary issues with fine stones on the roadway, until they are swept away.

The late road superintendent Dean Saylor had trained his road crew in the techniques of keeping the 90 miles of township roads in top condition through a program of oil and chipping and repaving when necessary, according to Zimmerman.

That has given Warwick Township a reputation throughout Lancaster County for some of the best maintained roads, he added.

Although supervisors did not agree with the residents, and some had experienced the process in their own neighborhoods, they conceded that the roadwork would be put on hold through the end of 2019 on Buttonwood Drive, Pinewood Avenue, and Sensenich Drive.
“We have committed to not doing the project this year,” said supervisor Andrew Spade, when Carson urged the supervisors to go with him to see Douglas Drive, where fog coat is currently underway.

Supervisor Herb Flosdorf reported that he was experienced in road materials, and said that the fog coat was a good choice for the neighborhood. He added that the township would leave the roads alone for the time being and consider other options when the time came.
“We value the input of the community,” said Zimmerman.

In other road-related business, Minnich reported that repairs were completed on the intersection of Ballstown Road and Church Road, where drainage inlets were installed. The roadway is set to be repaved later this year.

A public hearing on rezoning four areas of the township was held, with no comments from the public. Later supervisors approved the rezoning requests, which would amend the Warwick Township zoning map.

The rezoning affects the area where Sixth Street is being extended into Route 772 near Lancaster Evangelical Free Church and Dean Brandt with 3.35 acres rezoned from R-1 to R-2, 3.25 acres rezoned from industrial to R-2, and 0.42 acres rezoned from R-1 to industrial. The other area is along West Newport Road near Orchard Road with 9.68 acres rezoned from rural estate to local commercial. Businesses located in that area include Green Hill Grocery, Weavers Garage, and Brick Gables.

Supervisors approved a request from WESC to use a house at 700 Snyder Hill Road for a fire training site. The house, which has no historic value, is in poor condition and slated to be demolished.

The local fire departments and emergency personnel would like to use it for fire and rescue training, including a full burn before it is torn down.

In other business, a request from Lancaster Bike Club for the 41st Covered Bridge Ride was approved, along with a request for the HARTZ Physical Therapy 16th annual Fall Blast 5K.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *