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Lower Swatara tall grass concerns lead to more discussions about how township should cut it

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 6/5/19

After a Lower Swatara Township resident expressed concern about tall grass and brush on the side of the road last year, commissioners agreed to mow back intersections where sight distance may be an …

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Lower Swatara tall grass concerns lead to more discussions about how township should cut it

Posted

After a Lower Swatara Township resident expressed concern about tall grass and brush on the side of the road last year, commissioners agreed to mow back intersections where sight distance may be an issue and banks where the grass may grow over the white line.

During the May 1 meeting, Director of Public Works Lester Lanman also suggested mowing along guardrails or areas where it may be dangerous for homeowners to mow.

The commissioners did not take a vote but expressed support for Lanman’s suggestion.

“I’m all for cutting the right-of-ways in certain spots, and I think we need to maintain intersections and site clearances. There are probably other situations where it might be pertinent,” Commissioner Ron Paul said.

After Lanman showed a picture of an eroded bank on Whitehouse Lane, Paul said he wasn’t in favor of cutting banks to the point of erosion.

During a December meeting, Lanman showed the commissioners about 40 examples. The properties had grassy banks, wood or unkept grass along the roads, guardrails or signal control boxes.

The streets identified included areas along Spring Garden Drive, Longview Drive, Hollywood Drive, the corner of Oberlin Road and Longview Drive, Cockley Road, Strites Road, North Union Street, 80th Street, Davis Drive, Stoner Drive, Whitehouse Lane, Richardson Road and the corner of Rosedale Avenue and Whitehouse Lane.

Lanman said they had to be careful while mowing banks on private property.

“If we’re staying within the right-of-way, that might only be 2 feet onto the bank. It just depends. Right-of-ways in this township vary greatly. Sometimes they vary from one property to the next on the same road,” Lanman said.

In one case, a bank along Whitehouse Lane eroded away and spilled onto the road.

“If we don’t get something growing back there, it’s going to continue to erode away,” Lanman said.

He said the township should not do edges of flat fields. Some of the properties are being acquired by new owners, such as Wilsbach Distributors, which wants to build a distribution hub on the corner of Oberlin Road and Longview Drive.

Wilsbach, Lanman said, has landscaping plans for all along Longview Drive.

Paul suggested including a note on plans for projects such as Wilsbach and D&H’s proposed warehouses on the former Jednota property to cut the edge of the properties.