East Cocalico starts year on a busy note

By on January 30, 2013

By: ALICE HUMMER Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

After dealing with two snows requiring road maintenance over the holiday, East Cocalico supervisors started the year by being named in a lawsuit brought by residents of Park View Heights.

Stevens & Lee law firm was named at the Jan. 16 East Cocalico supervisors meeting as the special council to represent the township in any litigation.

"We are named in the lawsuit, along with many others," said East Cocalico Township supervisor chairman, Doug Mackley.

"The township might be thought of as a participant in the process where the deed restrictions were removed," said Mark Hiester, East Cocalico Township manager. "And we did have to sign off when residents won the right to purchase the land on which their mobile homes were placed."

At least twice in the last year and a half, Park View Heights residents appeared at township supervisors meetings requesting help to secure the right for residents to own their land instead of renting it.

Legally, there was nothing the township could do to assist. The residents feared with the state closure of the Vista Care health facility, the entire parcel of property — including the adjacent land where their homes sat — would be sold.

The Park Side Homeowners Association seeks relief because it believes that, with the closure of the Vista Care facility, their property values have decreased due to the properties being isolated, among other factors.

The Park Side lawsuit is in U.S. District Court.

Meanwhile, the Kyma Seafood Grille appeal remains in the Lancaster County court system. Restaurant owners, George and Nick Barokas, appealed East Cocalico Township’s Oct. 17, 2012 decision to assess a traffic impact fee on the proposed improvements to their restaurant’s deck, which they claim would not generate additional traffic. Improvements proposed included an awning, heaters and some side curtains.

In other business, supervisors passed an ordinance "amending the roadway classifications to reference roadway classifications in the transportation impact fee program roadway sufficiency analysis."

"Roads have different designations," Hiester said. "For example, some are local roads, some are collector roads, and these designations affect the traffic impact fees assigned. It’s been a few years since we’ve taken a look at the designations to see if they are accurate."

The Land Planning engineer had no action items, which is an unusual occurrence at a meeting.

"The balls are in the other people’s court right now," Hiester said. "There’s a lot going on in the Township — our people tend to turn things around faster than the developers do."

Heister named several projects outstanding, such as W.J. Crossroads, Village of East Cocalico, Wabash Landing, Foxbrook and the Dollar General Store. Dollar General wants to locate in the area where the trains are on route 272. Zoning Officer, Tony Luongo noted that there are storm water run-off issues and impervious surface issues causing a delay for conditional approval. Dealing with out of state engineering companies, who may not be familiar with local and PA ordinances also factor into the delays with Dollar General’s progress.

"We also have ongoing compliance issues at Heatherwoods," Hiester said. At the supervisors April 4, 2012 meeting, Heatherwoods residents reminded supervisors that they’ve waited five years and no roads have been dedicated.

"The developer’s been given a list. Until that list is complete there is nothing we can do." said supervisor, Noelle Fortna, who shared the resident’s concerns.

Supervisor, Alan Fry, reminded people of the Wabash Road closing on Feb. 4.

"The Wabash Bridge will be demolished," Fry said. "And a new concrete bridge will be constructed, and hopefully done in six months."

Zoning officer, Tony Luongo, reported 11 false alarm violations in December, 2012.

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