Follow us on Twitter Friend us on Facebook Receive City Updates
{ Live, work, play in York. }

City Council Meeting Minutes

April 3, 2012

Signed Resolutions

Signed Bills

 
CALL TO ORDER:  City Council convened in a General Committee meeting on April 3, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, to receive general public comment, with the following Council members present: Joanne Borders, Michael Ray Helfrich, Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Vice President, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 
 
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT
 
Franklin Williams, York, PA, discussed the project to resurface portions of Market St. approved at Council's March meeting. He remains of the opinion that there are only a few areas that need to be repaired due to construction. He said the temporary patches are unacceptable and contractors should be made to permanently fix the street after construction projects are completed. 
 
Alycia Reese-Bligen, York, PA, is discouraged about the lack of response to residents' complaints about nuisances in the city. She specifically spoke about feral cats – a problem she's been dealing with for over 5-years. She said a woman from Dallastown is coming into the City of York and feeding these cats. Ms. Reese-Bligen stated that she has asked this woman to stop feeding the cats but that hasn't worked. She urged Council to implement an ordinance to deal with these cats. Next, Ms. Reese-Bligen said 520 & 524 E. Philadelphia St. has squatters and drug activity, which she has reported, and the city secured, but people are still entering the properties. Lastly, she relayed that 60 N. State St. opened as an illegal rooming house, which the city shut down, but she noticed that after 7 or 8 p.m., people are entering the property and staying overnight. 
 
Candace Robinson, York, PA, announced the implementation of a cancer program and planned peace marches.
 
Charlotte Bergdol, York, PA, invited residents to various activities, including First Friday and Go Green events.  
 
There being no further public comment, President Hill-Evans adjourned the General Committee meeting and reconvened in Legislative Session at 7:00 p.m., in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA, with the following members present: Joanne Borders, Michael Ray Helfrich, Renee S. Nelson, Henry Hay Nixon, Vice President, and Carol Hill-Evans, President, with President Hill-Evans presiding. 
 
Members of the Administration in attendance included: Jim Gross, Director of Public Works, and Kevin Schreiber, Director of Economic and Community Development. Also present was Assistant Solicitor Don Hoyt.
 
Members of York City Council staff in attendance included:  Dianna L. Thompson, City Clerk.
 
Pledge of Allegiance: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 
 
Approval of Minutes: Council dispensed with the reading of the Minutes of March 6, 2012 and unanimously approved them as written.
 
Correspondence and Announcements
 
President Hill-Evans announced that Council's March 20, 2012 meeting was canceled because of lack of agenda items, however, Council did receive public comment at 6:30 p.m. with Council receiving public comment from Mr. John Crimmins.
 
 
Public Comment – March 20, 2012
 
John Crimmins, York, PA, reported a property at 1113 Roosevelt Ave. that he believes is vacant. He said a sink hole has now developed on the property.
 
PRESENTATIONS: None
 
 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS SCHEDULED: None
 
 
STATUS OF PRIOR COMMITTEE REFERRALS 
 
Business Administration Committee, Michael Ray Helfrich, Chair: Councilman Helfrich reported that the BA Committee met on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., 1st Floor, to hear a presentation from the City's Administration an overview on a program to accelerate the collection of delinquent sewer and refuse fees. He said the city will work in conjunction with the York Water Company and if delinquencies continue in sewer payments, the York Water Company will turn off your water until payments are received. 
 
SPECIAL AGENDA
 
Resolution No. 53, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution establishing Council's seating order, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nelson, Resolution No. 53 passed with the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
 
SUBDIVISION / LAND DEVELOPMENT / HARB
 
A motion was made by Borders, seconded by Helfrich, to introduce Resolution No.'s 54-56 as a whole. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, Resolution No.'s 54-56 were introduced by Nelson as follow:
 
Resolution No. 54, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution approving the final reverse subdivision plan submitted by PIRHL to consolidate 14 parcels into 2 at the intersection of George St. & College Ave. (George Street Commons)
 
Resolution No. 55, Session 2012,(View) Approving the final land development plan submitted by PIRHL to construct 28 new residential units at the intersection of George St. & College Ave. (George Street Commons)
 
Resolution No. 56, Session 2012, (View) Approving the final land development plan submitted by PIRHL to construct a commercial structure at the intersection of George St. & College Ave. (George Street Commons)
 
On motion of Nelson, seconded by Borders, Resolution No.'s 54-56 came up for discussion. 
 
John Snyder, RGS Associates, outlined the plans in that the project area is located on 1.3 acres of land situated in the central business district – site of the Green's grocer. He explained that the subdivision plan proposes to consolidate 14 parcels into 2 and that the land development plans are for construction of commercial and residential structures. He explained that four residential buildings consisting of 28 units total, a community center, and commercial space will be offered. 
 
President Hill-Evans and Councilwoman Borders asked about parking as this was an issue when the plans were originally submitted.
 
Jessica Fieldhouse, YMCA, said one of the conditions offered by the Planning Commission was that we number all the parking spots and assign those spots to a particular unit. She said the consensus is that there is a lack of parking in the downtown business district. Ms. Fieldhouse stated that they considered several factors, which included providing one parking space per unit. The housing is meant to be downtown, she said, so they will be catering to walk-up traffic. Additionally, Ms. Fieldhouse explained that the units are income eligible which means they will be catering to low to moderate income households. Also, these homes are directly located on a public transportation line and there are several surface lots and parking decks nearby. Ms. Fieldhouse said if parking becomes an issue, there are opportunities to structure parking agreements, if necessary, and that they will continue to monitor this.
 
Councilman Helfrich said he is concerned about parking on George St. and feels that this new lot will be the go-to spot for downtown visitors. He said there are no restrictions or parking meters effective during the evening hours. With Cobblestones losing parking and our new City Hall taking up additional parking spaces, he said he feels there may be no parking available for people wanting to make quick 5 or 10 minutes stops.
 
Economic Development Director Schreiber explained that in accordance with our planning and zoning ordinances, this site is not required to provide any parking, although parking on the site is a predictor of marketability for the units. He said to have a $10 million mixed-use development project in our central business district is a welcome development. Director Schreiber did say he shares the concerns about parking but doesn't want to see this preclude development and that they would continue to monitor the situation. 
 
Councilwoman Nelson asked if the income guidelines was an option or mandatory for all units. Ms. Fieldhouse said it is mandatory and that they will provide units for those making 20% of the area median income with the remaining units split between those making 30-50% of the median income. She said the YMCA and a 3rd party company will manage the properties. 
 
Councilman Nixon said we should bare in mind that many of us live in row homes with approximately one parking space and we all have managed and survived. He said he thinks it is commendable that parking has been provided for each unit.
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No.'s 54-56 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 57, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution approving the final reverse subdivision plan submitted by York Habitat for Humanity, on behalf of the York City Redevelopment Authority, to consolidate three parcels into two on Company St., was introduced by Nelson, read at length, and on motion of Nelson, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 57 came up for discussion.
 
Jeff Bonnerwith, Gordon, Brown & Associates, explained that presently there are three vacant parcels located at 564, 566 & 568 Company St., which they plan to consolidate into two parcels for the purpose of constructing two semi-detached dwellings. York Habitat is sponsoring the project, which they hope to get underway on Memorial Day and finishing up on Labor Day. 
 
There being no further discussion, Resolution No. 57 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Resolution No. 58, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution accepting the recommendations of HARB in issuing a certificate of appropriateness to Raab Construction for work to be done at 50 S. Pershing Ave., and George St. Commons for work to be done at 245-247 S. George St. and 21 E. College Ave., was introduced by Hill-Evans, read at length, and on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 58 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
 
 
FINAL PASSAGE OF BILLS / RESOLUTIONS
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 7, Ordinance No. 10, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 1731 “Historic York” of the Codified Ordinances, Subsection 1731.08 “Board Meetings,” to change meeting schedule to once per month, which was introduced by Hill-Evans at the February 7 meeting of Council and tabled at the February 21 meeting, came up for final passage. A motion was made by Nixon, seconded by Nelson, to remove Bill No. 7 from the table. The motion passed unanimously. Therefore, on motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Borders, Bill No. 7 came up for discussion. 
 
Councilman Helfrich said he requested that this Bill be tabled at the February 21 meeting because he had concerns that HARB would only meet a maximum once a month regardless of the applications being submitted. He stated that his fear was that only meeting once per month could hinder the progress of a homeowner or developer from making improvements. However, he said he was assured that HARB would hold a second meeting should applications exist.   
 
Councilwoman Borders said she respects the position of HARB members and said she is confident that they will meet when necessary. 
 
There being no further discussion, Bill No. 7, Ordinance No. 10, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
Final Passage of Bill No. 11, Ordinance No. 11, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending Article 111.04 “Regular, Special and Transferred Meetings” of the Codified Ordinances to amend location of Council meetings, which was introduced by Hill-Evans at the March 6 meeting of Council and read by short title, came up for final passage. On motion of Hill-Evans, seconded by Borders, Bill No. 11, Ordinance No. 11, passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
Introduction of Bill No. 12, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending the 2012 budget in the amount of $25,820.00 for the Police Department for a 2011 JAG award to purchase a mobile license plate reading system, was introduced by Nixon, read by short title, and deferred until the April 17 meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 13, Session 2012, (View) A Bill amending the 2012 budget for the Department of Public Works in the amount of $680,000.00 for the Penn Park Improvement Project, was introduced by Borders, read by short title, and deferred until the April 17 meeting of Council.
 
Introduction of Bill No. 14, Session 2012, (View) A Bill approving inclusion of the 2011 ordinances into the York City Codified Ordinances, was introduced by Hill-Evans, read by short title, and deferred until the April 17 meeting of Council.
 
Resolution No. 59, Session 2012, (View) A Resolution authorizing the sale of five surplus vehicles, was introduced by Borders, read at length, and on motion of Borders, seconded by Nixon, Resolution No. 59 passed by the following vote: Yeas – Helfrich, Nixon, Borders, Nelson, Hill-Evans – 5; Nays – 0.
 
REQUESTS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS: None
 
 
COUNCIL COMMENT
 
Councilwoman Borders announced a city-wide clean sweep event scheduled for April 14, 2012 from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Participants will meet at 101 S. George St. at 7:30 a.m. She encouraged residents to participate.
 
Councilman Helfrich added that rakes, bags, gloves, water and other supplies will be made available for the city-wide clean sweep. Next, he announced the Codorus Creek clean-up event scheduled for April 21st. Participants will meet on Pershing Ave. and Philadelphia St. at 8:00 a.m. Councilman Helfrich then reported that this will be the worst year for West Nile Virus. Wherever you see standing water on your property, he asked that you please drain it. Additionally, he noted that if you see dead birds its best to not touch them but to dispose of them using a shovel and to keep your pets away from these birds. Lastly, Councilman Helfrich shared that we spend a lot of money trying to provide recreation to our youth. Unfortunately, he reported that someone ripped the nets and knobs off of the basketball hoops at Martin Luther King Park and a park swing was destroyed by a dog being allowed to gnaw on it. Councilman Helfrich said this is such a huge waste of our taxpayer dollars. He urged residents to please call a city official if you see this type of destruction happening.
 
 
ADMINISTRATION COMMENT: None
 
 
NEXT MEETING: The next regular meeting of City Council is scheduled for April 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (Public Comment commences at 6:30 p.m.) in City Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York, PA.
 
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the April 3, 2012 meeting of Council adjourned at 7:46 p.m.