Catasauqua Press

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Hanover delays decision on RV parking

Thursday, May 12, 2016 by paul cmil Special to The Press in Local News

On the agenda for Hanover Township’s May 7 meeting was an ordinance restricting parking recreational vehicles on public streets. Council members were split on the matter.

Solicitor Jackson Eaton’s proposed ordinance addressed three types of recreational vehicles: self-contained RVs, van-style campers and towable motor homes.

The controversy started over a RV with an attached trailer that blocks a line of sight in the Chestnut Grove development.

Currently, there are no provisions to cite the RV owner for parking it on the property.

According to township Manager Sandra Pudliner, there are restrictions on the parking of trucks and construction equipment, but nothing that identifies recreational vehicles.

Neighbors have asked the owner to move the vehicle, but the owner has been uncooperative.

Councilmen Robert Lawlor and Robert Heimbecker voiced their disagreement with the overarching provisions of the proposed ordinance. Lawlor, who owns a recreational vehicle, asked for more specifics.

“When someone is getting ready to go on a trip, they park the vehicle in front of the house,” he said. “That would be prohibited under the ordinance. You couldn’t even park a vehicle on the street to get it cleaned up.”

Heimbecker added a visitor traveling in an RV would not be able to park along the street.

Councilman Curtis Wegfahrt agreed that the line-of-sight problem was significant but not insurmountable.

Council members said they recognize that storage facilities are available for RVs. They are seeking an ordinance with a restriction based on time and maybe size. Solicitor Eaton said he will review the ordinance and present an updated option at the next council meeting.

Also at the meeting, council members debated and eventually passed a resolution transferring Willowbrook Road to the state. Part of the agreement the township made with Rockefeller Group, developers of the FedEx Ground warehouse, was to transfer the roadway to the state because the township did not want to incur the higher anticipated maintenance costs for the roadway.

During the negotiations, the township asked the developer to reimburse the maintenance costs. The negotiators ultimately agreed to turn the road over to PennDOT and have the state assume maintenance responsibilities.

The turnover process is new. According to Heimbecker, the state has not ever taken over a road prior to this action.

Eaton said the legislature passed the necessary enabling legislation that accepts the road with the provision that it is built to township standards rather than PennDOT standards.

Township standards are assumed to be better than state standards because they address local conditions that are often overlooked in the PennDOT guidelines.

The township will lose some of its liquid fuel tax money. Liquid fuel tax funds are from revenues collected by the state at the gas pump. Distribution is based on the number of miles of roadway under local control.

Heimbecker estimated a loss of less than $1,000, which is considerably less than the cost to maintain a roadway and will be subject to heavy truck traffic once the FedEx warehouse hub opens.