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Developers' reworked plan met with approval

August 09, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -Every time the owners of WAM Enterprises come before Washington Township officials, they seem to leave with a smaller development than they brought.

Monday night was no exception, except that this time they left with the blessings of the township's planning commission for their 120-acre commercial and residential development on the Carl Diller Farm off North Welty Road behind Wayne Heights Mall.

Two years ago, the developers - George Lulos and William A. Aiello, both of the Harrisburg, Pa., area - proposed turning the land into a site for a major shopping center to lure a Wal-Mart store, but they were beaten to the punch by Echo Development, a Pittsburgh-based firm. Work on Echo's Rouzerville Commons, the Wal-Mart/Lowe's-anchored shopping center about a mile east of Wayne Heights Mall, is well under way.

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Lulos and Aiello submitted a plan for a 230-unit housing development of multi- and single-family homes plus commercial development.

The project's proximity to the East Branch of Antietam Creek, which runs along the western edge of the Diller Farm, plus the flood plain around it, caused concern among planning commission members, the Township Supervisors and some citizens.

The problem was runoff into the stream and the effect the development would have on the flood plain when water is high.

The developers reduced the number of homes to 164 and returned with their new proposal last month. The planners split 2-2 and sent the proposal to the supervisors without a recommendation.

The supervisors, listening to the concerns of citizens and their own concerns that runoff from the development would affect the stream and encroach on neighbors, sent Lulos and Aiello back for more revisions.

Lulos returned Monday night with a plan for 145 single-family homes plus the commercial development. The plan also relegated 3 more acres in the flood plain to the township.

"This takes us completely out of the flood plain," he said.

The planners liked the new plan.

"The concept is OK," said Charles Sioberg, the commission's engineer.

"I'm impressed," said Commissioner Melvin O'Dell.

"That's quite a change," Commission Chairman Robert Peiffer said.

WAM's plan heads to the supervisors for their Monday meeting with a unanimous recommendation from the planners.

Lulos said Rachuber Group, a Washington, D.C.-area developer, will build the roads and infrastructure, along with the homes in Antietam Commons, the name of the development.

Home prices will range from $300,000 to $400,000, Lulos said.

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