Rapho Township municipal building

When: Aug. 5 supervisors meeting.

What happened: Resident Jerre Frey questioned supervisors about stormwater swales.

Concern: Frey lives at 1314 Emerson Drive in the Four Seasons at Elm Tree 55-plus community. He said there are currently four arborvitae trees to the rear of the property. He would like to plant four more to fully screen the rear of the property. A stormwater swale is at the rear of the property. Frey said he asked the homeowners association about planting the trees and was told they would have to be planted a minimum of 15 feet from the center of the swale. He feels 10 feet from the center of the swale would be sufficient.

Quotable: “If I plant the trees 15 feet from the center of the swale, I’ll have virtually no backyard,” Frey said.

Township response: Supervisor Lowell Fry said this issue has been ongoing in the Elm Tree neighborhoods. He explained the reason the homeowners association requires 15 feet from the center of the stormwater swale is to prevent vegetation such as the tree canopy from encroaching into the swale and impeding stormwater flow. Supervisor Jere Swarr said historically the township has had a lot of issues with stormwater swales not functioning properly because residents planted trees and shrubs in the stormwater swale.

Quotable: “It’s a tight development,” Swarr said. “The reason for the 15-foot setback is not the trunk, it’s the canopy. The concern is what it will look like in 15 or 20 years; we want to ensure that the stormwater swale continues to function properly.”

Lot add-on plan: Supervisors approved a lot add-on plan for Abram and Elaine Mumma. The couple own a vacant 0.59-acre lot at 460 Hossler Road. They plan to add 0.14 acres from an adjacent farm at 360 Hossler Road owned by Larry and Bonnie Hershey. The Mummas plan to construct a single-family home and driveway on the lot, which would total 0.72 acres with the additional land.

PennDOT bridge replacement: Supervisors approved a temporary right of way in Mummau Park to allow PennDOT to replace the West High Street bridge over Rife Run next year. Mummau Park is jointly owned by the township and Manheim Borough. Supervisors also approved providing PennDOT with additional permanent right of way — 0.44 acres in Mummau Park. The township would be compensated $1,100 by PennDOT for the additional right of way and the removal of a maple tree.

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