Cocalico teens appointed junior councilors in Denver

By on December 14, 2016

Cocalico High School juniors Katie Carrasco and Sarah Register were appointed junior council members at the Denver Borough Council Dec. 12 meeting.

Their terms run through Dec. 31, 2017.

President Blake Daub asked them why they wanted to serve.

“I’d like to have an impact on the community,” Carrasco said. “I think first you need to understand how things work in a community.”

Register had a slightly different take.

“I’ve always been interested in politics,” she said. “Here’s a chance to learn how politics work on the local level.”

Carrasco will attend the first meeting of each month and Register will attend the second meeting of the month. A junior council member serves in an ex-officio capacity and does not have a vote regarding borough business.

The REAL Life Community services application to the borough zoning hearing board for 240 Main St., the former Denver House, was explained by Brent Good, ELA Group.

Detailed colorful drawings were shown to aid the explanation of the conversion of the blighted building into 10 apartments — three one bedroom, six two-bedroom and one three-bedroom on the second and third floors. The first floor will have offices for medical, dental, and behavioral services from Welsh Mountain, plus 1,500 square feet for other business use.

The variance request garnering most comment dealt with parking, historically a critical, downtown issue. Zoning requires a 20-foot wide access. The access drive, located on the side of the property next to Turkey Hill, and leading to 38 proposed parking spaces, is only 16 feet wide.

Councilman Mike Gensemer expressed concern for congestion, especially first thing in the morning when Turkey Hill is busy and runs out of parking spots.

“These tenants will all be leaving for work first thing in the morning,” he said. “To get cars back and forth with a 16 feet width access seems tight to me.”

There was also discussion concerning the allotment of 1.5 parking spaces per apartment. The zoning requirement is two parking spaces per apartment.

Ray D’Agostino, Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership president, said that the apartments most likely will need just one parking space per unit.

Daub said council will note the parking concerns for the zoning hearing board meeting Dec. 14.

Borough manager Mike Hession announced that leaf collection finishes up Thursday, Dec. 15. Residents should not put leaves at the curb after this date. If this occurs, residents will need to move them.

In other business:

* Council unanimously approved the proposed 2017 budget. It includes a tax increase from 3.0 to 3.15 mills. A resident with an average appraised home value of $135,000 will see an increase of $19.84 per year. The general fund for 2017 stands at $1.9 million.

* Printed flyers were received for the Jan. 24, 7 pm, Regional Drug Education Program sponsored by leaders of all four Cocalico municipalities — Adamstown and Denver boroughs and East Cocalico and West Cocalico townships. The meeting will be held at Cocalico High School.

* Council approved Hession as the municipal representative and Carolyn Hildebrand, West Cocalico manager, as the alternate, for the municipalities in the Cocalico School District on the Lancaster County Tax Collection Bureau for 2017.



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