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CVS has sights set on busy Greencastle corner

April 08, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - There's not a lot of moss under Michael Timmons' feet.

A partner in Timber Development Corp., a Florida-based retail development and management firm, Timmons is busy in southern Franklin County putting up CVS Pharmacy stores - one ready to break ground in Waynesboro, Pa., the other, in the preliminary stages in Greencastle.

Timmons' firm built Food Lion shopping centers in Chambersburg, Pa., Waynesboro and Greencastle.

The CVS store in Waynesboro will be built between Myrtle and Virginia avenues and will replace three buildings at 402-410 E. Main St.

Timmons said Thursday that crews have started asbestos abatement work on two of the buildings. The pharmacy is expected to open by the end of the year.

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In Greencastle, Timmons's partner, Douglas Bercu, met with the Greencastle Planning and Zoning Commission to request rezoning several properties on West Baltimore Street (at the intersection of U.S. 11 and Pa. 16) from residential to highway commercial to make room for a CVS pharmacy there.

A small strip of land at the intersection is already zoned commercial, Timmons said.

Borough Manager Kenneth E. Myers said a date for a public hearing on the rezoning has not been set.

Timmons was asked why that intersection was chosen when two other pharmacies, a Rite Aid and Carl's Drug Store, are within a short distance of the proposed site. He said CVS officials chose the site because that's where they want the project to be built.

CVS' plan is causing concern among some council members because the intersection is Greencastle's busiest.

"The overall reaction is that it is not a good fit," Myers said, while adding that reaction among the council members is mixed.

"They have concerns because of the traffic," Myers said.

Timmons said a traffic impact study is being done, a requirement of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. He also plans to ask PennDOT for permission for a right-hand turn lane in the southbound lane of U.S. 11.

"Drug stores are not Wal-Mart. They don't generate heavy traffic," he said. "It will have two points of access."

The new pharmacy would be about the same size as the one to be built in Waynesboro, around 11,000 square feet. It will have drive-through services.

Several nearby homeowners this week asked the Greencastle Borough Council to consider rezoning their properties from residential to commercial.

Greencastle Councilwoman Sydnae Vanner, chairwoman of the council's public safety committee, opposes the CVS project.

"It's not a good location," she said. "There's more congestion at that intersection than we can deal with now. That quadrant can't handle any more traffic."

Councilman Charles Eckstine takes an opposite view.

"It's an opportunity for us to make that corner all commercial," he said.

A Sheetz gas station sits across U.S. 11 from the proposed site, a fast-food restaurant is across Pa. 16 and a real estate office is kitty-corner across the intersection.

"This will also give us an opportunity to improve that corner and generate more tax income for the borough," Eckstine said. "The nearby property owners want theirs rezoned, too."

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