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Limited right-of-way width along with required lane configuration and widths make designated accommodations for bicyclists a challenge along W 8th Street at present. If an access management strategy can be implemented to the point where the center turn lane is deemed unnecessary the street could be re-striped to include a 5-foot bike lane in each direction. In the interim, shared lane markings or “sharrows” could be considered. Speed limit, traffic volume, lane width and other physical characteristics are factors when considering shared use lanes. These should be considered during the implementation phase.
The north side of the street includes back-in angled on-street parking to serve local businesses. This type will maximize the number of spaces in order to help offset the loss of private parking that was encroaching the right-of-way near Colony Plaza. Although parallel parking was also considered it would result in significantly fewer parking spaces. Pull-in angled parking was also considered but because it requires drivers to back out into traffic when leaving it was not the preferred configuration.
Embrace Millcreek, the Township’s adopted comprehensive plan, clearly articulates the community’s vision for the West 8th Street corridor. This vision includes stakeholder consensus around creating a ‘Main Street’ feel that accommodates all modes of travel – driving, transit, biking, and walking. Placing parking to the side or rear of buildings rather than between the building and the street reduces conflicts between pedestrians and motorists. It also provides opportunities for landscaping as well as activities such as outdoor eating and sitting areas. Parking is important but it doesn’t need to be front and center.
The answer to this question goes hand-in-hand with the answer to why parking is shown behind or to the side of buildings. Requiring the parking to be placed to the side or to the rear of buildings requires moving the buildings closer to the sidewalk. This creates opportunities for safer pedestrian connections from the building entrances to the sidewalk along the street. It also provides better exposure for businesses and other building tenants. It places the focus on people and businesses rather than cars and parking.
No, the Presque Isle Gateway District Plan does not say anything about specific businesses unless a specific business is currently encroaching on the public right-of-way on W 8th Street.
Protected bike lanes require additional space to physically separate bikes from automobile traffic. In many cases, the existing right-of-way are not wide enough to accommodate required travels lanes, comfortable sidewalks, and separated bikes lanes. A multi-use trail was considered for Peninsula Drive and W 6th Street but is viewed as a long-term solution due to cost and other factors.
The Township has already applied for, and in some cases received, grant funding to implement portions of the plan. The benefit of plans such as this and Embrace Millcreek is that they demonstrate to funding agencies that requests for grants will go to implement a larger vision. Millcreek will continue to seek assistance from local, state, and federal funding agencies to leverage any investment it may make.
Roundabouts are often safer than traditional signalized intersections. The tight circle of a roundabout forces drivers to slow down, and the most severe types of intersection crashes - right-angle, left-turn, and head-on collisions - are unlikely. In addition, the center of the circle provides an opportunity for a gateway feature such as a sign or public art. Once accustomed to using a roundabout, many people prefer them because they keep traffic moving.
This plan does not propose any changes to Presque Isle State Park. The Park is owned by the Commonwealth and is under the jurisdictional control of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).
An Official Map is a land-use planning tool authorized by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. It is a way for Millcreek to comprehensively examine the Township and identify properties that could be beneficial for future public use. The map is a means for the Township’s intentions to be clearly stated so that property owners are fully aware if there is a potential future interest in their parcel.
Municipalities can place on their Official Map any piece of land or facility that will provide a benefit to the public. The MPC specifically spells out the following as being for a public purpose or benefit: public streets, watercourses, parks, playgrounds, open space, pedestrian ways and easements, floodways, and floodplains.
Nothing. The land or facility designated on the Official Map is simply a way of providing the Township some time to enter into negotiations for the possible acquisition of a property prior to development and prior to such an opportunity to provide for a new road or public facility is lost. Under the Official Map, Millcreek has one year to acquire the necessary facility after receiving notice from the developer/owner of their intentions to develop. If the Township is not in any kind of position to acquire the property, it can waive its right to it at any time during that one-year period.
No. By designating the property on the Official Map, Millcreek is saying that in the future, that property would be a good location for some type of public use. The Official Map is a planning tool that allows the Supervisors to plan for public facilities in the future. Designation of lands or facilities on the Official Map does not mean the Township will definitely be purchasing the property. In the form of an Official Map, Millcreek is simply given a chance to put together a plan for acquiring the property, which it could very well decide not to do. The Township already has the ability to acquire property without an Official Map.
In Pennsylvania, a Township can acquire land for public purposes whether or not the municipality has an Official Map. The Official Map allows for Millcreek to designate public lands and facilities in a comprehensive fashion so that they are laid out in an efficient and logical manner. Typically, many properties designated on the Official Map are undeveloped or underdeveloped giving the Township a chance to acquire that property which will be less expensive and ideally in a logical place to meet the needs of the public.
No. The intent of the Official Map is not to take anyone’s home or create onerous regulations on their property. The Official Map is intended to provide a pause in the pace of development so that the Township may attempt to acquire land when property owners propose a new development. For this reason, the Official Map provides two extra provisions to homeowners: any expansion of a home no greater than 25% in area of the existing structure is exempted from the Official Map, and the Township only has 90 days to potentially acquire a portion of a property where there is an existing single-family home.
A “Taking” is a commonly used term for Eminent Domain. Government cannot take anybody’s land; however, all levels of government have the ability to acquire land from private individuals provided that through the proper processes established by law; the Township pays the property owner fair market value of the property; and the property is for a public use or benefit such as those facilities shown on the proposed Official Map. The process takes time, and the property owner has the ability to dispute any stated value of their property and have a separate assessment done on the property’s value. Then, a separate body (not the Township) will determine the appropriate market value.
The placement of property on the Official Map DOES NOT mean that Millcreek will be purchasing any property upon the adoption of the Official Map. The intent of the Official Map is to provide the Township with a limited amount of time to acquire a property, or portion thereof, for the purpose stated on the Official Map prior to the development or redevelopment of the property.
The Official Map is triggered only when a property owner provides notice that they will develop their property, which would be considered construction of a permanently affixed structure on the property. A modification to an existing home is exempt if the expansion is no greater than 25% of the area of the existing home.
The Township cannot prevent a reasonable return to the owner or make the property useless. Property owners have the ability to apply for a special encroachment permit, which would give them the ability to encroach into an area on their property designated on the Official Map including reduced setbacks from such area.