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Commission approves Rutter's plans in Waynesboro

July 28, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro's five-member Borough Council will get its chance to vote on whether to allow a controversial Rutter's Farm Store to be built on the corner of Third and South Potomac streets.

The Waynesboro Planning Commission voted 3-1 Tuesday to recommend the project to the council, which meets again Aug. 18.

The commission held a special meeting Tuesday before about a dozen citizens opposed to the Rutter's plan, to review a number of changes it requested earlier.

Tuesday's vote was contingent on several other minor changes plus an engineer's report on a structural analysis done on a 5-foot-tall underground storm drain system that runs under the proposed building site.

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Voting for the Rutter's project were Commission Chairman Jon Fleagle and members Donald Weller and Richard Sherwin. Sherwin made the motion and Weller seconded. Commissioner Kim Shockey was absent.

Commissioner Deborah Hoff cast the dissenting vote.

She said she was concerned about safety at the intersection, considered to be one of Waynesboro's most dangerous. She also questioned the impartiality of a traffic study reviewed by the commission Tuesday that was done by a York, Pa., firm representing Rutter's.

Hoff referred to a section in the borough's zoning ordinance on the preservation of the integrity of historic neighborhoods, saying a 24-hour gas station and convenience store does the opposite.

Fleagle said the commission, and likewise the borough council, has no choice but to approve a land development plan that meets all borough regulations.

Roy Tressler of 121 W. Third St., spokesman for Citizens Against Sane Development, the group of neighbors opposing Rutter's, told Fleagle, "This group has appealed to you requesting that you protect the safety and provide for an improved vision of our town."

Tressler said the neighbors have opposed the project since news of it surfaced in April.

The site, the former Brake Pontiac-Cadillac automobile dealership, is owned by Waynesboro developer and Realtor Ronnie Martin.

Rutter's is buying the tract from Martin.

"From the beginning, we have asked you to use the full influence of your position to disallow this development," Tressler told the commissioners.

He said if it has to move forward, the neighbors want several concessions.

They want the borough to ban left turns onto West Third Street from Philadelphia Avenue, have Rutter's pay for a school crossing guard at Third and Potomac, eliminate one gas pump, limit hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., make the building design conform to the neighborhood architecture and ban any public-address system at the pumps.

The citizens have one more chance to oppose the project, at the borough council's Aug. 18 meeting.

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