Lower Milford’s 2021 Cleanup Day will take place 9 a.m. to noon April 24
The Lower Milford Township Board of Supervisors’ meeting March 18 began with a hearing for the adoption of Zoning Ordinance No. 138 and the zoning map amendment.
This new ordinance addresses a few various land use issues. Medical marijuana growers are now permitted, plus wineries can be run on properties less than 5 acres as long as they make more than $10,000.
In 2019, a zoning ordinance amendment was passed by the supervisors regarding a new overlay zoning district. There were questions as to where the overlay would go and that was finally decided about six months ago. This overlay area would be a catchall and allow for many types of land use or construction.
A member of the public said the land being used for the overlay was a large part preserved farmland and a large part of swamp.
Supervisor Chair Donna Wright did not agree with the overlay in the zoning map amendment. “I’m strongly against this overlay plan … I think this opens us up to more issues ...”
She believes this overlay will not protect farmland preservation. She thinks the overlay could lead to bad decisions by new possible buyers. Supervisor John Quigley agreed with Wright and said this overlay could change the value of a certain property.
Since two of the three supervisors felt that way about the overlay, Solicitor Mark Cappuccio suggested voting to approve Zoning Ordinance No. 138, but to exclude the zoning map amendment.
Township Administrator Emily Fucci said a lot of time and money had gone into creating and advertising this ordinance, without these disagreements prior.
After some further discussion, Supervisor Ellen Koplin motioned for the adoption of the new ordinance, which will repeal Zoning Ordinance No. 134. In the motion, she removed the language adding the overlay district. Zoning Ordinance No. 138 was accepted and approved by two of the three supervisors without the overlay.
Following the hearing, the meeting moved to the agenda items. The minutes for January and February were approved after discussion.
At this point in the meeting, Quigley stated he had a prior appointment and needed to leave the meeting.
The treasurer’s report, administrator’s report and zoning report were all approved.
In other business, the public works report was reviewed. Township Secretary Stacy Smith said the road teams did a great job with snow removal during the heavy snowstorms. Furthermore, it was noted 98 percent of all repairs are being done in-house. More funds were allocated to third-party work in the past.
A year-end report was received by the Lower Milford Fire Company. An unintentional firework display last summer was highlighted. There were 144 incidents reported in 2020.
“They always could use extra help,” Wright said as she thanked the volunteer department for the service they provide.
In subdivision and land development, William Roy submitted his revised final land approval. Previously, Roy’s engineer used the wrong survey in the creation of the first plan and when it was discovered, the plans could not be passed.
Roy is a former supervisor. He has a preserved farm and is doing some line changes to his property. His revised plan has all the proper forms and surveys filled correctly. The supervisors approved his revised final plans.
In new business, there were several resolutions and agenda items.
Resolution 2021-5 was passed to adopt authorizing participation of Lower Milford in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Pension Trust. This gives employees a pension option after not having an option for almost a year. This is for anyone working for the township, even part-time employees. This will allow for employees to put their own money in, but not require the township to have to match the amount or pay anything.
Resolution 2021-6 designates Township Treasurer Wendy Stryker as open records officer for the township. Fucci will serve as the alternate. This is a new position in the township.
Resolution 2021-7 adds an agricultural security area to Lower Milford at the request of Margaret and John Patterson. However, Wright added work needs to be done on the property still and the Patterson’s are working to have this completed.
All resolutions were passed.
Next, Docket 21-01 was an appeal of Scott and Patricia Davis. They would like to turn their property into an equestrian training center. The property is on Dillingersville Road.
They currently have a horse farm and are requesting a special use application to the zoning ordinance to create the training center. It was noted improvements may need to be done to the driveway, in case two cars need to pass one another.
Winding Creek Septic Services had provided a report regarding the failing septic system at the township building. A motion was made and approved to investigate the failing system.
Douglas Shaw was then approved as a seasonal plow driver for the township.
Advertisements for road materials and repair bids were approved for work needed on four roadways in the township. The township had money saved from last year, so they wanted to get crack seal paving done on needed roads.
After discussions of all the work needed for the roads, an advertisement was approved for hiring a full-time public works laborer.
In correspondence, an update to Upper Saucon Act 537 plan is being made by Hanover Engineering. This will remove Lower Milford Township from the sewage services.
A traffic control request came from Trinity Great Swamp UCC for help from the Lower Milford Fire Company for a drive-thru Easter egg event. This request was approved.
In one of the final items on the agenda, resident compliments were read about the job of the public works team on their work with snow removal. Many thanked the swiftness of the road crews in clearing roads. Very few complaints came in about broken mailboxes, trapped cars or blocked roadways.
The meeting was adjourned following a short discussion about Zoom capabilities. Issues with online security were mentioned as reasons for why it was not set up yet.
In an additional note from the township, Lower Milford’s 2021 Cleanup Day will take place 9 a.m. to noon April 24. The township will provide gloves, safety vests, garbage bags and bottled water. Volunteers will then gather at the township building noon for a free picnic lunch. Contact the township secretary at 610-967-4949, ext. 111 to register.
The next meeting will be held 6:30 p.m. April 15 at the Lower Milford Township building, 7607 Chestnut Hill Church Road.