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Date set for rezoning hearing in Washington Township

October 07, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Public hearings on nine rezoning applications involving more than 1,000 acres of mostly agricultural land in Washington Township will be held Nov. 20 in the Blue Ridge Fire and Rescue fire hall in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

The Washington Township Board of Supervisors set the date for the 7 p.m. hearing at Monday night's meeting.

Included in the requests is a property that could become the location of a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The township's planning commission last month heard a presentation from a Pittsburgh developer outlining plans for the retail giant to build a store on 24 acres of the Anthony Bittner farm off Pa. 16 east of Waynesboro.

The nine parcels of farmland run north from the intersection of Buchanan Trail East and Old Pen Mar Road, then behind the Food Lion shopping center, across Old Forge Road to Country Club Road and across Gehr Road to Pa. 997.

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Township Manager Mike Christopher said last month that the majority of the land sought for rezoning lies along the path of a proposed relief road or bypass around Waynesboro that the supervisors introduced in May.

That plan was dropped soon afterward in the face of strong public opposition, but several of the individuals and companies asking for their properties to be rezoned have shown an interest in continuing the proposed bypass through their developments.

Most of the land being proposed for rezoning would be for residential development, with the potential for up to 2,000 single- and multi-family homes over the next 10 to 20 years, according to the presentations made to the planning commission in September.

Some township residents have raised objections to the proposed rezoning because of the impact the residential and commercial development could have on the school system, traffic and quality of life in the municipality.

Christopher told the board of supervisors Monday that the Nov. 20 hearing date will allow the planning commission two more opportunities to meet and discuss the applications prior to the hearings.

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