Council tables Rutter's

August 19, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - It will be Aug. 30 at the earliest before the Waynesboro Borough Council votes on a land development plan for a controversial Rutter's Farm Store the company wants to build at the intersection of West Third and South Potomac streets.

Last month, the Waynesboro Planning Commission gave its blessing to the project and sent if to the council for its decision.

The council tabled action Wednesday pending further engineering reports.

A group that has opposed the project since it was announced in April attended Wednesday's meeting. Members of the group have attended most council and planning commission meetings since April to express their views.


Paul Engelstad, of 129 E. Second St., asked the council to urge Rutter's officials to construct a building that would be compatible with the historic integrity of the Third Street neighborhood. Many of the houses along both sides of the street were built in the mid- to late 19th century.

Engelstad said he and other members of the citizens group have traveled to Gettysburg, Pa., to see a Rutter's Farm Store that he said is compatible with its neighborhood.

The council was shown a collage of the Gettysburg store and its surroundings, and one showing a facsimile of what Rutter's is planning in the Third Street neighborhood.

Engelstad said the Waynesboro store is similar to those that Rutter's builds off interstate highways.

A major difference is that the Gettysburg Rutter's is a farm store only, with no gas pumps. Plans for the Waynesboro store call for 12 pumps.

Engelstad gave the council a copy of the guidelines that Gettysburg uses to approve projects in its historic district.

The council, he said, has to figure out what it can do to put similar rules in place in Waynesboro, "so citizens will not be left with one big mess."

Roy Tressler, of 121 W. Third St., spokesman for the citizens group, wants the council to ask Rutter's to limit its hours, eliminate one fuel tank, pay for a school crossing guard at the intersection of West Third and South Potomac streets and eliminate lights on the canopy and roof of the building.

Councilman Andrew Benchoff, a local attorney, said he will abstain from voting on Rutter's issues because the law firm for which he works has represented Waynesboro developer Ronnie Martin. Martin is selling the land to Rutter's.

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