East Hempfield Township map zonepic

When: East Hempfield Township supervisors meeting, June 16, held in person with remote access via Zoom.

What happened: Supervisors voted 3-1 to allow Oaktree Outdoor Advertising LP, of Manheim Township, to place a one-sided digital billboard at 1600 Cloister Drive following a conditional use hearing. Township solicitor Susan P. Peipher of the Lancaster-based law firm Blakinger Thomas ran the hearing. Devon Wagner of Oaktree Outdoor Advertising LP requested an additional 10 feet in height and for advertisements to change every 20 seconds. The board will face west to traffic traveling eastbound on Route 283.

Background: East Hempfield’s zoning ordinance allows billboards to stand 25 feet tall, and the board granted  an additional 10 feet for visibility purposes. For the second variance request, the ordinance allows ads to change every hour. Billboards are permitted to be placed in the township’s enterprise zoning district under a conditional use granted by supervisors. Wagner said the proximity to Route 283 was a major reason why the site was chosen, calling it a “major artery through Lancaster County” and “desired by a lot of advertisers to be on that roadway.”

The vote: Chair Scott Russell, Vice Chair Scott Wiglesworth and supervisor Andrew Weaver voted yes, while supervisor Thomas Bennett voted no. Supervisor Ed LeFevre was absent. Bennett expressed concerns of not having ample time to review electrical recommendations from township staff. The recommendations came the day of the meeting. Bennett asked  for the board to briefly adjourn for an executive session with the solicitor.

Quotable: “I'm comfortable with the application, but I can understand the concerns,” Russell said.

Ambulance deal: Supervisors voted unanimously to sign a five-year service provider agreement with Penn State Health Life Lion LLC as the township’s new primary emergency medical services provider Aug. 1. The township’s current provider, Susquehanna Valley EMS, is going through a business consolidation with Penn State Health. Russell said the acquisition by Penn State Health is “a good solution” because Susquehanna Valley is under financial stress. Russell thanked retiring Susquehanna Valley President/CEO Mike Fitzgibbons for his many years of service to the township, calling him a “selfless servant.”

Zoning officer: Supervisors voted unanimously to formally appoint Nathaniel Sturgis as the new zoning officer, replacing Colin Siesholtz. Township Manager Cindy Schweitzer said Sturgis began June 7.

What’s next: Due to the Independence Day holiday, supervisors will meet next at 7 p.m. July 21 at the township building, 1700 Nissley Road, Landisville. There will be remote access via Zoom with login information on the website.

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