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June 12, 2017

The following elected officials were present: M. Heckmann; T. Kirsch; N. Kovach; W. Oates; M. Randazzo; D. Swisher; M. Warhold; D. Baumgarten. Tax Collector S. Torris was absent. The following appointed officials were present: T Hartswick, Borough Manager; K. Truver, Police Chief; D. Biondo, Solicitor; P. Vietmeier, Codes Official; N. Mastandrea, Junior Council Member.

The minutes of the May 22, 2017 Council Meeting were presented. Mr. Swisher motioned to approve the minutes; Ms. Randazzo seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Comments:
Ms. Kovach officially opened the public comment section of the meeting.

Lido Dreucci, 3372 Sycamore Drive – had concerns about the tiny house proposed to be built on Trance Drive, and questioned if the project was approved. Mr. Dreucci was worried that additional homes of this size would be built throughout the borough on small lots. Mr. Vietmeier answered that as long as the proposed project meets required set-backs and requirements for a residential home, the borough does not have a structure size for a residential home in the zoning ordinance.

George Feldman, 1419 Trance Drive – believes that this style of tiny house would devalue his property. In addition, all surrounding homes are constructed of brick, and this home should be brick also.

Donald Kohlmeyer, 1423 Trance Drive – lives across the street from the proposed tiny house and is not happy about this type of home in his neighborhood. Mr. Kohlmeyer added that the zoning laws need to be changed.

Russell McKibben, 1456 Highland Villa Drive – stated that council would need a change in the zoning ordinance to list a minimum structure size for a residential home to prevent future building of tiny houses. As member of the planning commission, Mr. McKibben invited residents to attend the commission meeting, however many municipalities do not have restrictions in place for a tiny house at this time. The planning commission can only address items within the existing ordinances.

Mr. Kirsch attended the zoning hearing board and would not like this type of tiny house in his neighborhood. Mr. Biondo stated that a request for a variance for the size of the lot was approved by the zoning hearing board. Property owners have a right to appeal the zoning hearing board decision.

Russell McKibben, 1456 Highland Villa Drive – questioned when building will begin for the Castle Court apartments on Hamilton Road. Mr. McKibben contacted the Allegheny County Conservation District about slope control, and that issue has been resolved. Mr. Hartswick answered that construction should start by late summer.

Ann Rose, 106 Horning Road – co-owner of Walls, Floors & More, which has been in Castle Shannon for 22 years – has an ongoing issue regarding a provision of the zoning ordinance on outdoor displays, specifically granite/marble countertop inventory being displayed outside that blocked sidewalk access and visibility exiting on Route 88. A zoning variance to allow the outside displays/inventory was denied; therefore Ms. Rose would like to relocate the business within the borough. Ms. Rose questioned the philosophy behind the outdoor display restrictions, i.e. to comply with safety issues or to remove all outdoor displays. Council agreed they would like to keep the business in the borough, and Ms. Kovach asked Ms. Rose to work with Mr. Vietmeier on the outdoor display/storage/inventory issue.

The public comment section was closed.

Bid Openings:
Mr. Heckmann motioned to award the 2010 Ford Explorer bid to Yousef Dabbagh for $2,268.00; Mr. Oates seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Swisher motioned to award Contract No. 17-R02 – 2017 Roadway Improvement Program to the lowest responsible bidder, Mele & Mele & Sons, Inc. for $91,752.10; Ms. Randazzo seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Hartswick recommended rejecting the bids for Contract No. 17-R01 – 2017 Roadway Improvement Program Liquid Fuels because of Columbia Gas line installation conflicts and the fact that Mele & Mele & Sons Inc. pulled their bid. Mr. Heckmann motioned to reject the bids and rebid with alternate segments; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Public Hearings:
Ms. Kovach presented Resolution #644 to request a Multimodal Transportation Fund grant of $1,000,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority for the Transit Access Phase of the Streetscape Plan. Mr. Warhold noted the borough’s share would be $333,000 and the funds will be used to improve conditions surrounding the new transit oriented development with new lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, improving sidewalk connections, crosswalks and amenities. Mr. McKibben questioned if the matching funds would be included in the 2018 budget. Mr. Hartswick said yes, upon approval of the grant. Mr. Kirsch motioned to adopt Resolution #644; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Civil Service Commission:
Nothing to report.

Real Estate Tax Collectors Report:
Mr. Hartswick presented Resolution #645 authorizing the disposition of certain records of the borough’s elected tax collector. Ms. Randazzo motioned to adopt Resolution #645; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Council Committee Reports:

Public Relations/Communications:
Mr. Heckmann stated that council will be proceeding with the computer use and social media use policies at the next public meeting.

Public Works - Building & Grounds:
Mr. Oates reported council met in executive session on a public works department level 3 disciplinary action. Mr. Heckmann motioned to uphold the disciplinary action; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Building and Grounds:
Nothing to report.

Public Safety/Fire:
Nothing to report.

Mr. Swisher approved the check register for June 2nd.

Community Activities/Planning & Codes:
Mr. Warhold described the many property code violations that happen in the borough, and motioned to hire Ken Mandrier as part-time code assistant to help Mr. Vietmeier identify property code violations; Ms. Randazzo seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Mr. Warhold and Ms. Kovach would like to meet with District Justice David Barton to discuss extensions for property code violations.

Mr. Warhold agrees that the tiny house is going in a nice, well maintained neighborhood, however the zoning hearing board, planning commission and council must rule with the laws in place at this time.

A committee has been established with five ladies to replant and maintain the Community Garden and Willow Wall. Mr. Warhold thanked these volunteers for their efforts.

“Party on Park” events are planned this summer on Park Avenue to promote local businesses. June 16th will be “Bark on Park” with pets welcomed. July 21st will be “Bike on Park” with children invited to patriotically decorate their bikes for a bike parade. Music, food specials, and free children’s activities are planned.

August 18th a walking tour re-enactment of the Castle Shannon Bank Robbery of 1917 is being planned with vignettes at noted stops. This fascinating story would be a good documentary film, and the story is available on the borough website.

The Library Board met last week to discuss the strategic plan and summer reading program, which started last weekend. The goal is to encourage children to spend some time leisurely reading throughout the summer. Many opportunities are available to win prizes with the reading program.

Keystone Oaks Summer Program will provide lunches for children from June 12th to August 11th at the library and Alvern Gardens. The Community Food Bank of Pittsburgh will be visiting the lunch program on Friday, June 30th to discuss the SNAP program, and people attending will have a chance of winning a $50 gift card from Giant Eagle.

Editorial Board:
Nothing to report.

Mr. Swisher reported that the board met on May 24th and reviewed the financials.

Municipal Associations:

Allegheny County Boroughs Association:
The board met and discussed legislation to designate $15 from every deed transfer to a fund for blighted properties.

Allegheny League of Municipalities:
Nothing to report.

Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs:
Nothing to report.

South Hills Area Council of Governments:
Mr. Oates motioned to authorize the appropriate officials to execute the Cargill Second Amendment to Articles of Agreement for the salt contract; Ms. Randazzo seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Police Pension/Non-Uniformed Pension:
Nothing to report.

Junior Council Person:
Mr. Mastandrea stated that the last day of school was June 9th, and the graduating class had 130 students. In addition, Mr. Mastandrea will be working for the Keystone Oaks summer maintenance program.

Engineer's Report:
Nothing to report.

Manager's Report:
Don Smith, CBRE Director of Project Management for Shannon Transit Village – stated that Mt. Lebanon will be executing the Traffic Signal Retiming Project Agreement and forwarding it to him by Wednesday. The following motions regarding the Shannon Transit Village were made:

  1. Mr. Heckmann motioned to authorize the appropriate officials to execute the three party agreement between Castle Shannon Borough, Mt. Lebanon and Shannon Transit Village for a Traffic Signal Retiming Project subject to receipt of the signed agreement from Mt. Lebanon; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
  2. Mr. Heckmann motioned to authorize the appropriate officials to submit an Application for Traffic Signal Approval to PennDOT and adopt Resolution #646; Mr. Swisher seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
  3. Mr. Swisher motioned to authorize the appropriate officials to execute the Easement Agreement with James Sorbara; Mr. Heckmann seconded; all in favor; motion carried.
  4. An authorization for agent to apply for a Highway Occupancy Permit was included in the agenda. No action is needed by council. Mr. McKibben asked if this was a new application for a HOP since the existing permit expires in August 2017, and this was a requirement of the conditional use. Mr. Smith stated they are applying for a new permit.
Mr. Smith stated they will be working with Mr. Biondo on the developer’s agreement which will be discussed as a future council meeting.

Mayor's Report:
Mayor Baumgarten agreed that most municipalities do not have minimum requirements for residential homes, and many factors need to be considered for changing the ordinance.

Planning Commission:
Mr. Heckmann motioned to accept the Planning Commission minutes of 4/17/17; Mr. Warhold seconded; all in favor; motion carried.

Solicitor's Report:
Nothing to report.

Keystone Oaks:
Nothing to report.

Zoning Hearing Board:
Nothing to report.

Nothing to report.


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