Township Planning Commission recommends Wal-Mart approval

November 11, 2003|by DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - By a 3-2 vote, the Washington Township Planning Commission Monday night recommended approval of a rezoning proposal that would clear the way for a Wal-Mart Supercenter east of Waynesboro.

Commission members Melvin O'Dell, Robert Peiffer and Ezra Fitz voted in favor of rezoning the parcels totaling 104 acres. Commission members Randy Kuhn and Lisa Donohoe cast the dissenting votes.

The township board of supervisors will hold a public hearing on the rezoning request and nine others totaling 1,025 acres Nov. 20 at the fire hall in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.


"We feel very comfortable our traffic study will meet Penn-DOT requirements," said Bruce Haney, vice president of Echo Real Estate Services Development of Pittsburgh, the company that would develop 24 acres of the Anthony Bittner farm along Pa. 16 for the supercenter.

"Whatever improvements are necessary, we will build," Haney said of any road work deemed necessary by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. He said Echo also will work with the Carlino Development Group of Wyomissing, Pa., to build a connector road from Pa. 16 to Old Forge Road.

Carlino Development is planning to build approximately 400 residential units on property adjacent to the Wal-Mart site. The group is seeking rezoning for 187 acres from agricultural to medium-density residential.

Echo is seeking rezoning for portions of the 104 acres now owned by the Bittners and Red Run LLC from agricultural to medium-density residential and commercial, according to the rezoning request.

The commission was not recommending approval of all rezoning requests. Before the vote on the Wal-Mart project, it voted against a proposal to rezone 136 acres belonging to Michael Knepper of Chambersburg, Pa., from agricultural to low- and medium-density residential and commercial.

Peiffer objected to locating a commercial zone along Pa. 997 and astride the route of a proposed bypass north of Pa. 16.

"As far as I'm concerned, that's out," said Peiffer, who said that commercial development there would create traffic problems, something the bypass is supposed to correct.

The commission also voted against recommending approval to rezone 33 acres belonging to D. Curtis Mummert of Waynesboro from agricultural to medium-density residential, saying in part because it would create traffic problems on Stottlemyer Road.

The commission did recommend approval of a change from agricultural to residential for 96 acres owned by Pen Mar Properties between Gehr and Country Club roads.

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