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Bypass would pass through farms

April 29, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, PA. - An aerial view of a proposed bypass around Waynesboro being considered by the Washington Township Supervisors shows that much of the route would pass through what is now open farmland.

Members of the newly appointed committee working on a proposed impact fee ordinance that would charge developers a fee were shown the map Wednesday night.

Impact fees paid by developers could cover the cost of building about 4 miles of the nearly 5-mile relief route. The township would pay for the rest, officials have said.

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The right of way would be 100 feet wide, the supervisors said Wednesday.

An impact fee of $1,000 per lot has been discussed, but that could change, said Township Manager Michael A. Christopher.

A Harrisburg, Pa., consultant hired by the township is conducting a preliminary study on the impact fee proposal.

The aerial map shows the bypass beginning on Buchanan Trail East, which is Pa. 16, near Yingling's Garage at 11508 Buchanan Trail East. The first stretch would serve as the main entrance into Rouzerville Commons, the name recommended Wednesday by the supervisors for a new shopping center planned for the Rouzerville area.

It will be anchored by a Wal-Mart and a Lowe's home improvement store. The supervisors also recommended Wednesday that the Wal-Mart store be painted blue and gray, Christopher said

Land for the shopping center was part of a nine-parcel contiguous stretch of farmland covering nearly 1,000 acres that the township supervisors rezoned last year for major residential and commercial projects. Developers have said they could build more than 1,300 single- and multi-family homes along with the shopping center.

The first phase of the bypass would begin at the shopping center and end at Old Forge Road.

Eventually, as developers began to develop their tracts, it would proceed from Old Forge across what is now open farmland to Country Club Road.

It then would cross more open farmland to Gehr Road, follow along a stretch of Stottlemyer Road before veering off onto farmland again on its way to cross Tomstown Road then Pa. 997, across more open land to Pa. 316 and end temporarily at Prices Church Road.

The final phase, according to an original plan for the bypass, would end at Pa. 16 west of Waynesboro. The last leg does not show up on the aerial map.

Consultant Charles Sioberg said he would spend time with each property owner affected by the bypass. He also said social, economic and environmental decisions would need to be made before a final route would be chosen. "This is the first baby step to figuring out where the road will go," he said.

Sioberg said it would be hard to predict when it would be finished. The pace of development along the route will be among the deciding factors, he said.

The supervisors proposed a similar bypass about a year ago but dropped the plan in the face of fierce opposition by residents.

Township resident Vernon Fox asked Wednesday that if so many people opposed the idea at that time then, "isn't it presumptuous of you to think that they changed their minds and want a bypass now?"

Supervisors Chairman Art Cordell answered him saying, "We feel it's needed now and for the future."

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