Jefferson zoning board OKs school stadium parking plan

The Jefferson Township Zoning Hearing Board has voted 2-0 to grant the Tulpehocken School District relief from off-street parking requirements and parking-design standards for its proposed 1,500-seat athletic stadium.
The township ordinance requires one parking space per three seats and one space per employee, which comes to 510 spaces for the $3.98 million stadium and the people who would work there during events. It also requires that those spaces be paved with asphalt.
Project architect Phillip Leinbach said there are 571 paved spaces on the school grounds and room to park 74 more vehicles on grassy areas around the school grounds if the paved lots are full, a total of 645 spaces, Leinbach said.
District Solicitor Brian Boland acknowledged that the district also holds spectator events in its gym and auditorium.
If all those facilities' seating was used to determine parking requirements, the school would need 885 spaces but Boland said that was absurd since school officials are careful never to schedule more than one event at a time.
And Leinbach said providing that many spaces would cost $750,000 and it can't be done because there isn't enough suitable space on the school grounds.
Township engineer Ryan Rhode said he was in favor of a district proposal that would have added 41 paved spaces near the high school, but Boland said that plan was dropped when officials decided to downsize the proposed stadium, from 2,000 seats.
Rhode said the problem with adding no spaces was that there were just enough for the stadium.
"There's not enough spaces for the Girl Scouts to meet in the auditorium," Rhode said.
The board met privately for over an hour before voting to approve the district's parking proposal with conditions.
The district must create the 41 spaces near the high school and stabilize them with concrete pavers. It also must remove all but five of the grassy overflow spaces from the plan and the five must be paved.
Zoning board member Ruth LaFollette did not take part in the hearing because she is an employee of the Tulpehocken School District.
City of Jefferson
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