Borough planners delay vote on Rutter's

July 13, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, PA. - A decision by the Waynesboro Planning Commission on a proposed Rutter's convenience store and gas station on the corner of Third and Potomac streets was tabled until the July 27 meeting.

The five-member commission wants Rutter's officials to come back with a list of changes the commission said it wants before deciding to deny or recommend the project to the Borough Council, which has the final say.

The proposed site once was home to the Brake Pontiac-Cadillac dealership. It's owned by local developer Ronnie Martin.

Tim Rutter, treasurer of Rutter's Farm Stores based in York, Pa., was present Monday. He said his company plans to buy the tract from Martin.


While the plan meets the general requirements in the borough zoning code for a commercial project, the spokesman for a group of neighbors opposing it said Rutter's officials "came here tonight to ram it down our throats."

Roy Tressler of 121 W. Third St., spokesman for Citizens for Sane Development, said a difference exists between having a legal right and what is right for the neighborhood. He expressed residents' concerns for noise, additional traffic, property values and safety at the intersection of Third and Potomac streets.

Willard Rahn of 141 Snider Ave., said the intersection was already congested. "You're going to make it more so," he told the Rutter's officials.

The citizens presented Rutter with a petition carrying the names of 391 residents opposed to the plan, including 82 whom, they said, live within two blocks of the project.

Also representing Rutter's Monday were Gavin W. Markey, the company's attorney plus a project coordinator and a project engineer.

"We want to be a good neighbor," Markey said. "We don't want to be offensive to the neighborhood."

Changes requested by the commission include cutting the number of signs to one, buffer zones of trees and shrubs to make the facility blend in with the neighborhood, allowing only westbound West Third Street traffic to make a left turn into the station and only a right turn exit onto West Third.

Rutter's also will grass over a vacant lot it will own off the northwest corner of the site to prevent parking. The company also must sign an agreement to pay for any damage it might cause to an underground storm sewer line on the site.

The plans call for three entrances - one each off West Third Street, South Potomac Street and Philadelphia Avenue.

Commission Member Deborah Hoff said she was concerned about increased traffic from the store onto Philadelphia Avenue, which would then turn onto West Third Street and create a traffic hazard there.

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