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Rezoning for Rouzerville shopping center land approved

August 04, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Rouzerville Commons, a proposed shopping center to be anchored by Wal-Mart and Lowe's stores, is expanding by nearly four acres to make room for a larger Lowe's store than originally planned, a township official said Tuesday.

Gerald Zeigler, code enforcement officer for Washington Township, said the Township Supervisors this week approved the rezoning of 3.89 acres of farmland owned by David and Barbara Layman of 12707 Old Forge Road.

The Laymans own about 170 acres of farmland that were rezoned for residential use in December. The Laymans' land is among more than 1,025 acres on nine tracts of contiguous Washington Township farmland that the supervisors rezoned in December, mostly for residential development.

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According to preliminary plans at the time, more than 1,280 single-family and 136 multifamily units would be built in the new developments.

Fewer than 70 acres of the total land that was rezoned was designated for commercial use. Included in the commercial rezoning is the original tract for Rouzerville Commons.

The land that was rezoned runs west from Pa. 16 in Rouzerville to a point on Pa. 16 west of Waynesboro.

Township officials insisted that the owners of the rezoned land dedicate some of their property for a bypass that not only would connect their developments with an access road, but would create a relief route to redirect traffic around Waynesboro.

The Laymans are selling their 3.89 acres to Echo Real Estate Services/Development, the Pittsburgh developer building Rouzerville Commons.

The shopping center is expected to generate $300,000 to $500,000 in new property taxes, local officials said in December.

According to Zeigler, Echo Development needs more land because the new Lowe's store will be larger than originally planned.

Market studies done by Lowe's showed that the new store should be 116,000 square feet instead of the 94,000 square feet that was originally designed to accommodate a larger expected customer base.

Because Lowe's will take up more land, the proposed Wal-Mart store will have to be built farther away on the property, Zeigler said.

In addition, he said, the developer may build a 500,000-gallon water tower to ensure sufficient water or fire protection for the shopping center.

The Washington Township Municipal Authority would supply water to the tower, Zeigler said.

The shopping center will include a clothing store, shoe store, an eat-in and a fast-food restaurant, among other stores, Zeigler said.

Construction of Rouzerville Commons is supposed to begin this fall, with completion expected a year later.

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