Neighborhoods

Community Service Day Project - Farnum Park

On Wednesday, August 23, the City of Lancaster teamed up with volunteers from IMPACT! Missions to make many improvements needed at Farnum Park.

Smucker HVAC contacted IMPACT! Missions about a companywide give back day. Smucker HVAC wanted to do a project in the community including all 45 employees in their company. IMPACT! Missions contacted the SoWe sub-group Friends of Farnum Park about doing projects to help with general maintenance in the park. IMPACT! Missions volunteers have provided over 20,000 hours of volunteer service in the South West neighborhood over the last three years and completed 10 home rehabs. IMPACT! Missions was the coordinator for the completion of the work today. The City of Lancaster is very fortunate to have worked with this very talented group of individuals. We are very appreciative to all who participated!

Proposed Lead Legislation Information

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PUBLIC PRESENTATION GIVEN ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27

Lead is a soft blue-gray metal found in the natural environment. It was added to paint and gasoline until 1978, when it was banned in the United States. 

It is still used in some consumer products such as: imported candy, foot powder, jewelry, stained-glass, pottery, etc. People are exposed to lead through dust, paint, soil, water, and imported home remedies.

Children are the most at risk from lead poisoning which can result in learning and reading disabilities, loss of IQ, hearing loss, Attention Deficit Disorder, hyperactivity, and speech delays. A child that is lead poisoned is:

•       7 times more likely to drop out of school

•       6 times more likely to be involved with the juvenile justice system

It is estimated that lead poisoning costs $50.9 billion per year in medical, special education, lost earnings, and criminal justice costs.

To give you an idea of how dangerous lead is, and how little needs to ingested, there are 20,000 “doses” of potential lead poisoning in the amount of sugar substitute in a packet you’d find on a table in a restaurant.

No level of lead is safe and its effects are irreversible.

Proposed Legislation: 

In 2010, the City adopted a new Lead Ordinance to address lead poisoned children. The Ordinance was amended in 2016.  A copy of the current Ordinance can be found on the City’s website at:  http://ecode360.com/8118273

Below is an explanation of the most recent amendments, which impact Investor Owned/Rental properties, being considered by City Council for approval on March 14, 2017.  Click here for a copy of the proposed amendments.

LANCASTER CITY RENTAL PROPERTIES:

Once every four years, or during the time of the systematic inspection conducted by the City’s assigned Housing Inspector, a landlord or investor owner will be required to provide a Lead-Safe Certification completed by a Pennsylvania Lead Risk Assessor indicating the unit(s) are lead-safe.  It is important to understand that we are requiring a Lead-Safe Certification for each unit in a building.

The Clearance Examination, required to obtain a Lead-Safe Certification, can be completed and submitted at the time a unit turns over to another tenant, rather than at the time of the systematic inspection.  As long as the City has a Lead-Safe Certification on file for the unit that is dated within a four-year period of time, the unit/property will be in compliance with the proposed ordinance amendments and will not be subject to at the systematic inspection.

The City will also have staff available to conduct the Clearance Examination, for a fee to be established by City Council.  The proposed fee for City staff at this time for the initial Clearance Examination, including materials and lab costs, is estimated to be a maximum of $250 for the initial Clearance Examination and $120.00 if a follow-up test is necessary.  You may be contract with a private firm that has been licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  You will not be required to use City staff and the availability of City staff to conduct clearance testing will be dependent on their schedule.

It is important to note that this does not require that a Lead Hazard Evaluation or Risk Assessment be done on the unit to identify lead paint hazards.  The City will allow the investor owner/landlord to assume that lead paint exists in the unit. It does require that a Clearance Examination be done to insure that the lead paint that exists is not a lead hazard, since a Risk Assessment was not completed.  This follows the federal guidelines issued by the HUD Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Controls.

If the unit fails the first Clearance Examination, the landlord/investor owner will be notified of those areas that failed and provided additional time to clean the area and do a second Clearance Examination.  There will be a charge for each time a Clearance Examination must be completed (see above for rates associated with additional Clearance Examinations).  If the unit is vacant at the time, occupancy will not be permitted until a Lead-Safe certification can be provided.

If the investor owner/landlord intends to provide the Lead-Safe Certification for units at the time of the City’s systematic inspection on the property, the certifications will be required before the property is approved by the City’s Housing Inspector.

Failure to provide the Lead-Safe Certification (Clearance Examination results) that the unit is Lead-Safe at least once every four years may result in the rescission of the rental license for the unit, or the property.  If the property/unit continues to be rented without a license the investor owner/landlord is subject to the penalties in the City’s Rental Housing Ordinance, including penalties associated with renting a unit without a license.

CONDEMNED PROPERTIES:

If a property has been condemned by the City, the owner (or the person that will conduct the repairs to remove the condemnation) is required at a minimum to obtain the 8-hour Renovate, Repair, Painting Course issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to acquiring a permit to do lead remediation work at the property.  The owner may also provide a copy of a contract entered into with a PA Certified Lead Safe Supervisor or PA Licensed Lead Abatement Company to complete the remediation/abatement.

After the repairs have been made, a Lead-Safe Certification must be presented to the City’s Senior Health Officer or the City’s Chief Building Code Official in order to have the condemnation lifted and obtain the required Certificate of Occupancy from the City. 

LANCASTER CITY OWNER OCCUPIED PROPERTIES:

When a property has been identified by the City of Lancaster as having lead hazards because we have been notified that a child with an elevated lead blood level under the age of 6 resides in the property, and the owner is interested in selling the property before or during the remediation takes place, the Seller Disclosure Statement must be provided to the City Senior Health Officer at the time the property is listed for sale.  This will insure that the proper Lead Paint disclosures have been included in the sales listing. 

If a Risk Assessment has been completed by the City staff, or a certified PA Lead Risk Assessor, prior to the sale of the property, a copy of the Risk Assessment must also be included in the Seller Disclosures.

Resources:

Area Lead Professionals:  http://www.dli.pa.gov/Individuals/Labor-Management-Relations/bois/Pages/Lead-Occupations.aspx#h 

Lancaster Unity Community Cleanup

Lancaster Unity was originally formed after I saw litter on the sidewalks of our beautiful city. I posted on Facebook asking what we could do about the trash, people responded, one thing led to another and eventually we held our first community clean up. Almost a year later, we are looking forward to our fifth clean up event. 

On Saturday, August 22, Lancaster Unity and Isaac's Famous Grilled Sandwiches invite the community to come out and pick up litter around the city. The litter collected will be used for “Let's RETHINK Litter in Lancaster”, a Litter Letter Project sponsored by Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. The word RETHINK will be displayed in the city, built with 3D letters made from chicken wire and rebar and filled with trash collected from the city streets. We hope the display will encourage people to RETHINK and reevaluate their consumption and waste.

Please join us in collecting trash to fill these letters and help to bring awareness and action to the litter that is in our gorgeous home. Everyone is invited to join on August 22 at 10 AM at Tellus360, 24 East King Street, for the clean up event. Bags, gloves and vests will be provided. Click here to view the event on our Facebook page.

By Martha Good, Lancaster Unity

Proposal to allow keeping chickens

As Lancaster City Council members attempted to balance the wishes of residents who wanted to keep backyard hens with the concerns of their neighbors, it was small size of city lots that was the biggest factor.

The typical lot in Lancaster City is 2,000 square feet, or less than .05 of an acre. Corner or duplex lots are often about 2,500 square feet.

Councilwoman Danene Sorace said during the May 4 Council committee meeting that it would be impossible for her neighbors not to see or smell hens if she kept them in her back yard.

City Council's Community Development and Planning Committee voted 3-0 on May 4 not to move forward with a proposal that would have revised the city animal ordinance to allow chickens. The decision came after extensive research and two months of deliberation.

Few Pennsylvania cities - often where lots are larger - have allowed hens. Yet, those cities have so severely restricted the areas where they are allowed that hens are essentially prohibited in neighborhood settings.

Philadelphia allows hens on properties of at least three acres in size. Harrisburg allows keeping them on properties of at least 40,000 square feet, or nearly an acre.

Harrisburg also requires that chickens be kept 75 feet from a from a property line.

City Council members and Mayor Gray said they were unwilling to support an ordinance that allowed residents to have hens, but made it so restrictive that few, if any, could actually do so.

Another primary concern was the cost of enforcing an ordinance that allowed hens. Randy Patterson, the city's economic development and neighborhood revitalization director, said expanding the city's ordinance to allow hens could require the hiring of a second animal enforcement officer and another housing inspector. His concern, however, was the additional workload on an already overburdened staff.

At the Council committee meeting, Patterson said he wasn't concerned about those seeking permission to keep hens. His concern was for those who would not follow the rules put in place.

Councilman James Reichenbach urged residents who wish to keep hens to look at alternatives. He suggested they approach School District of Lancaster school board members about keeping them on school property. Patterson suggested they talk to Lancaster County officials about allowing chicken coops at County Park, in much the same way the park rents garden plots.

Lancaster City Council is responsible for setting the policy and vision for the city. Council members attempt to do so while balancing the interests of all residents.

City + Mix at Arbor Place form PAL

Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) programs have been successful in countless urban communities throughout the United States, fostering positive relationships between neighborhood children and the police officers that serve their communities. That is why the City of Lancaster has partnered with the Mix at Arbor Place to form a local PAL.

PAL programs are a mainstay across the country. Officers mentor local youth through activities like sports, music, dance, and outdoor recreation. City of Lancaster police office Josiah King will lead the program, and has already recruited officers and other volunteers to teach basketball, martial arts, and archery to children at the Mix at Arbor Place. The Mix at Arbor Place provides at-risk youth a safe environment, adult mentoring, homework help, recreational programs, bible studies and a hot meal. The PAL program builds on the already strong after-school programs provided by Arbor Place.

The Lancaster PAL will begin September 29 with archery, basketball, flag football, outdoor recreation and much more. The program is made possible through the support of the Gunterberg Foundation, Steinman Foundation, Clark Family Foundation, and Rodgers and Associates. 

Ewell Gantz Mural

The Ewell Gantz Playground, located on the corner of South Christian and North Streets was dedicated in 1996. It was dedicated to Henry Norwood “Barney” Ewell, a local Olympic athlete, and Ida Gantz, an active community member. Both were strong, well-known members in Lancaster’s Southeast community. The Ewell Gantz playground is situated in the heart of Southeast Lancaster City. It is a residential corner where children live and frequent on a daily basis. It is next door to Arbor Place, an after school program for kids and teens.

Last year, the Public Art Advisory Board and the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (PCA&D) collaborated on a mural commemorating both figures. Senior PCA&D illustration students Tylor Heagy, Danny Morgan and Nicole Cruz-Ramos, along with Jonathan Yeager, a PCA&D alumni and adjunct instructor in the illustration department, created a series of images which were tweaked, critiqued and ultimately chosen by local residents. Tylor Heagy created the final design using elements from each of the artists’ works.

Heagy said prior to the project’s conception, he had not heard of Ewell or Gantz but saw, “it was immediately clear how inspirational and giving each of them were.”

He continued to discuss the collaborative working process, working with two other artists, an instructor and the neighborhood's suggestions saying, “It has been an amazing experience to work with such a strong team. We thrive off of each others’ work. This energy also comes from the community. Their feedback and opinions were strong contributions to what the mural looks like today.”

His favorite part has been meeting the children in the community to get their opinions. “It’s always humorous how blunt and honest a child can be. Don’t get me wrong though, their feedback was some of the strongest."

Heagy is a 2014 graduate of the BFA degree program in illustration at PCA&D, a graduate of Warwick High School, and a military veteran.

The mural was painted with the help of Two Dudes Painting Company, The Mix at Arbor Place, Shah Properties, and Hamilton Distributing Company. Funding was provided by Wells Fargo and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. 

By Joshua Graupera, Public Art Advisory Board

Lancaster City’s Annual Assessment by HUD

Lancaster City’s Annual Assessment for the period of January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013, by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Philadelphia Office
The Wanamaker Building 
100 Penn Square East 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107-3380

The Honorable J. Richard Gray Mayor
City of Lancaster Municipal Building
P.O. Box 1599
120 N. Duke Street Lancaster, PA  17608-1599

Dear Mayor Gray:

SUBJECT: - Annual Community Assessment City of Lancaster
January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013

The provisions of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, and the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, require the annual submission of performance reports by grant recipients receiving federal assistance through programs covered under these Acts. Additionally, these Acts require that a determination be made by the Secretary of HUD that the grant recipient is in compliance with the statutes and has the continuing capacity to implement and administer the programs for which assistance is received.

The Consolidated Plan regulation at 24 CPR 91.525 requires this Department to evaluate and report to the public on a community's overall progress in the management of its program funds, compliance with the Consolidated Plan, the accuracy of performance reports, and the extent to which progress has been achieved toward the statutory goals identified in Section 91.1. This letter serves to apprise you of our assessment of Lancaster City's overall progress.

In making our evaluation, we relied primarily upon the City's submission of the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) for Fiscal Year 2013. This report summarized accomplishments made with funds provided from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. Iri addition, we took into account technical assistance, and follow up conversations with City staff. This letter is a summary of our review of the City of Lancaster's overall performance.

As you know, under the update to the Part 91 Consolidated Planning regulations that came into effect March 13, 2006, all Annual Action Plans and Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Reports (CAPER) are required to include performance measures as part of their annual reporting. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has deemed this information necessary to validate the continued funding of HUD programs. The City of Lancaster provided performance measures as required by this guidance.

The HUD timeliness requirement is that a community may have no more than 1.5 times their most recent annual grant remaining in the line of credit 60 days prior to the end of their program year. When the 60-day timeliness test was conducted on November 2, 2013, it was calculated that Lancaster City had a balance in its line of credit of .85 times its annual grant. Please note that this did not include any program income that the City may have in its accounts. Thus, this figure may actually be higher.

During the 2013 program year, the City has expended 93.39 percent of its CDBG funds for activities benefiting low/moderate income persons, which meets the primary objective of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. In addition, the City obligated 7.07 percent of funds on public service activities, which meets the 15 percent regulatory cap. The City of Lancaster obligated 12.58 percent of its funds on planning and administration, which is within the 20 percent regulatory cap.

The City continues to participate with Lancaster County in a HOME Consortium, where the Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopment Authority manage the Consortium HOME funds that cover the City and the County.

During 2013, CDBG funds were used in nine discrete projects in the categories of housing (rehabilitation, inspections, critical repairs and fair housing services), economic development activities (promoting small business development and opportunities for minorities), human services (public safety/crime prevention and homeless outreach), and infrastructure improvements.

Additionally, CDBG funds were used to assist 15 homeowners deal with serious safety and/or health threats in their residences by using the City's emergency repair loan program designed to eliminate hazardous structural conditions and/or reduce or remove unhygienic elements in the environment.

The City has worked with the Department of Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization to address lead hazards by conducting risk assessments and clearance inspections. In addition, certified contractors conduct lead hazard reduction work on all single-family and rental units rehabilitated with CDBG and HOME funds.

The City included in its CAPER its role in affirmatively furthering fair housing and identifying impediments to fair housing. In 2013, the County in conjunction with the City. of Lancaster updated the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. We commend you for these efforts. Please note that the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) is available to provide technical assistance regarding affirmatively furthering fair housing upon your request.

We congratulate the City on its many accomplishments during this program year.  Based on our review, we have concluded that the City of Lancaster has the capacity to carry out its programs and has met its reporting requirements.

We ask that you review our assessment of your performance and provide any comments that you may have within 35 days of the date of this letter. Upon receipt, we will evaluate your comments and make any revisions that are deemed appropriate. If you do not have any comments, we request that you formally notify us of that fact within the 35-day timeframe. Where no comments are received within the designated timeframe, our initial letter will serve as our final assessment of the City's performance for this program year. To facilitate and expedite citizen access to our performance letter, we request that you inform the general public and interested citizens' organizations and non-profit entities of its availability. If, for any reason, the City chooses not to do so, please be advised that our office is obligated to make the letter available to the public. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

We look forward to continuing to work with you and members of your staff to accomplish Departmental goals and mutual objectives to develop viable urban communities. We would also be pleased to provide you with any information on resources that may be available to your community. · If you need assistance, or if you have any questions concerning the content of this letter, please contact Mr. Nadab 0. Bynum, Community Planning and Development Director, at (215) 861-7652, or Ms. Patina Ming, Senior Community Planning and Development Representative, at (215) 861-7662. This office may be reached via text telephone (TTY), by dialing (215) 656-3452.

Sincerely,

Jane C. W. Vincent
Regional Administrator

Bill Bard - still Changing Gears after all these years

Long-time City resident Bill Bard was born in a house on New Dorwart Street over 90 years ago. He has many fond memories of growing up in the Cabbage Hill neighborhood.

He sent Tracy Beyl, public art manager, the following poem about Changing Gears, the new public art piece in Crystal Park:

Changing Gears Sculpture in Crystal Park
Fine Art to Behold
Accolades, Artist Ulrich Pakker
Crystal, Rodney Parks
Your Dream has come true
Changing Gears is what we do
As we travel life’s highway
Childhood to final Journey
New adventure everyday
Children always high gear
So full of energy, frisky
Their play is a pleasure to see
Then in our middle years
Earn a living, raise a family
Always in overdrive
Best, most productive, all our days
Then as the hourglass empties
We are in low gears
It has been a great Adventure
Most delightful years
When a child, lived a block away
Parks were my retreat
The wading pool, open space
My little friends meet
Thank you for your contribution
Fine Artwork to behold
In the City of Lancaster
Changing Gears, Sculpture Bold
Man does not live by bread alone
All art, music pleases me
Panacea for the soul
Most pleasurable as can be

Poem written by William Cliff Bard, Age 90

We're glad to see that the new piece is making an impact on residents of the past and present alike. Enjoy!

Lancaster Gateway Bundle

On Friday, October 31 the Lancaster Gateway Bundle was installed at Lancaster Brewing Company. Part green infrastructure project, part public art piece, the new addition to the Lancaster Brewing Company will greet those coming into the City via the Walnut & Plum Street intersection. Read on for a message from one of the artists. 

Dear All,

As I stood and looked at the sculpture yesterday, after the installers had left, I realized that what I was looking at was something truly special.  It's hard to put into words the feeling of looking at something that you have brought into the world, but what now sits outside the Lancaster Brewing Company is not the product of individual expertise, but of a very real form of collaboration.  The sheer number of people involved in this work, especially for such a small project, is astounding.  To think that we not only accomplished what we set out to do, but executed it to the fullest degree, is something we should all be proud of.

To do a project that was not only environmentally responsible, but also contributed to a business and a community is a special feeling.  Being able to work on this project with so many people was also a great learning experience.  I feel that we have given something to the city and to the brewery that they will both find useful and enjoy for years to come.  This is important as we can begin to reflect on our work and understand its continuing role in the city and its ever more sustainable infrastructure.

I would like to thank everyone, on behalf of A+M, for helping to make this project a reality.  I'm looking forward to reconvening again, Lancaster-brewed beers in hand, to commemorate this achievement.

Sincerely,

Marc Lewis Krawitz
Austin + Mergold LLC

2013 Leaf Collection

Being in the midst of an Indian summer, it doesn’t feel much like fall these days – but the leaves are still turning! That means the City’s Annual Street Leaf Collection Program will begin October 14. Leaves are collected two different ways depending on where they fall.

Leaves falling into streets are collected by street sweepers. Street sweeping leaf collection follows the twice monthly street sweeping schedule, except on King, Orange, Queen, Prince and Manor Streets and Highland Avenue, which are designated for weekly cleaning.

Residents can confirm their pickup days by checking the signs on their street. On November 5th, 28th and 29th, leaf collection will not occur due to City holidays.

Residents should not rake leaves into street-side gutters, as leaf collection by street sweeping is not intended to be used for the collection of leaves that have fallen on sidewalks and private property. 

Leaves falling in the yards of private property will be collected, but must be placed in 30-gallon yard waste bags; leaves should not be placed in plastic bags. Appropriate yard waste bags are free of charge and can be picked up at the following locations:

-          The Treasury Office at 39 West Chestnut Street

-          City Hall at 120 North Duke Street

-          Bureau of Streets at 515 North Franklin Street

-          Recycling Drop-Off Center at 850 New Holland Avenue. 

Bagged leaves will be collected by Penn Waste on the weeks of November 4, November 18 and December 2 in relation to the trash collection schedule.

Leaf collection will continue through mid-December, weather permitting.

If you have questions about street cleaning and leaf collection, feel free to call the Bureau of Streets at (717) 291-4835.