Physician's letter shows concern about buffer zone for plaza

May 19, 2004|by RICHARD BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A plan to build a commercial building on a hilly vacant lot on Pa. 16 East between Old Mill Road and Iroquois Trail has bumped up against controversy with the project's future neighbors over a buffer zone.

The plans for Waynesboro Plaza LLC, being built by Eugene Horst, owner of the Country Corner Meat Market at 10586 Buchanan Trail East, comes before the Washington Township Planning Commission for review June 14.

Jon Matre, a physician recruited by Waynesboro Hospital, moved to the area in September with his wife and two children. The family bought a home at 13085 Iroquois Trail abutting the property Horst bought for the plaza.


According to records on file in the township office, Horst plans to construct a two-story, 14,000-plus-square-foot building on his land. He wants to move his meat market to the second floor with an entrance off Old Mill Road and plans to build six rental spaces on the first floor with an entrance off Iroquois Trail, according to the plan on file.

At issue with Matre is the access road that will lead to the rear of Horst's new building and the rental spaces there.

The road has been planned since 1995, said Jerry Zeigler, zoning enforcement officer for the township.

The land that Horst bought for his building is zoned commercial.

The path where the access road will go currently is planted with a buffer of evergreen trees that stand about 10 feet tall. The access road will run between Matre's property line on the south side and a real estate office building on the north side. The existing trees provide a buffer between the two properties, but they will have to come down to make way for the access road, Zeigler said.

Township ordinances require buffers in commercial areas, but the only requirement is that the trees be at least 4-feet high, Zeigler said.

Matre, in a letter he and his wife presented to the Washington Township Supervisors Monday, said, "When we bought our home ... we were (and still are) foreigners who knew nothing about the American system of building and zoning legislation. We had to rely on information given us by the seller and our real estate agency."

In his letter, Matre said Horst told his wife that the road would be built next to the Matre's property line with only a narrow buffer zone in between. "On this buffer zone he planned to plant pines 4-foot high," the letter said.

Horst declined to comment on his project or why he was building it. Concerning Matre's letter he would only say, "I'm the kind of person who goes a second mile to make peace."

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