Planners in Lehigh Township voted to propose changes in the township’s warehouse ordinance to the board of supervisors at their Dec. 11 planning meeting, suggesting changes to current township law pertaining to parking and snow removal at warehouse facilities
The planning commission agreed to remove language requiring “visitor” and “non-employee” parking spaces in the current ordinance in an effort to simplify it and reduce confusion. If approved by the township’s board of supervisors, the move would not reduce parking spaces in such facilities, as the planning commission implemented a ratio that would require 1.2 parking spaces for every one employee.
Planners agreed that by requiring 1.2 spaces for every one employee, additional parking for non-employees would be provided for automatically as a result of the new language.
Township Engineer Phil Malitsch said that requiring more than one space for each employee would help to create additional parking spaces beyond those required.
“For every five, you get a sixth for free,” Malitsch said.
In addition to parking, another warehouse-related issue addressed by the planning commission was snow removal. Planning Commission Chairman David Shulman said he wanted to make sure that parking spaces required by ordinance are not used as areas for snow removal.
“I want to make sure that the designated snow area is not parking spaces,” Shulman said. “They can’t put the snow in the required parking spaces.”
Malitsch clarified that if there are additional spaces available beyond the required minimum parking spaces, then the extra parking spaces are available to use as designated snow areas.
“If it’s not required, then they can put it there,” he said.
Since the planning commission serves as an advisory body, any changes suggested by them have to be approved by the township’s board of supervisors before they take effect.
In other business, the planning commission voted to grant a time extension on the preliminary/final land development plan of the Northwoods Major Subdivision until April 30, 2018. The commission also reviewed the plan, but voted to table any action to their January 2018 meeting.
The commission also received a plan withdrawal letter for the preliminary/final land development plan of the Piechota Automobile Repair Facility, as a new plan is expected to be submitted to the planning commission for their January meeting.