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Fee concerns put Applebee's plan on back burner

February 23, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington (Pa.) Township Supervisors on Wednesday spent 50 minutes in executive session and ultimately delayed potential approval of an Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar over two words that have plagued the development of a shopping center and major roadway just outside Waynesboro - impact fees.

A final land development plan presented last night for the 5,130-square-foot restaurant included no mention of traffic impact fees. Those fees are imposed on new development along Washington Township Boulevard to fund the construction of the road.

The restaurant could produce $80,000 in impact fees, according to previous remarks by the site engineer.

The developer, Echo Real Estate/Development of Pittsburgh, would be bound to pay impact fees for the restaurant if the approved plans included such a stipulation.

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Bruce Haney, a representative of Echo, indicated early in the supervisors' meeting that he feels he has paid his fair share of impact fees for Rouzerville Commons, a shopping center anchored by Wal-Mart and Lowe's.

"I've paid every dime. I paid $400,000," he said.

After the supervisors' decision to table further review of Applebee's, Haney said he had no comment regarding impact fees.

"As you are aware, Mr. Haney has threatened to sue the township over impact fees," John Lisko, township solicitor, said during the meeting.

Haney said no lawsuit has been filed, and "we're hopeful that there will not be."

He confirmed he has commitments from businesses for every storefront at the center.

There is 30,000 square feet for businesses including a sporting goods store, hair salon, cellular dealer, Chinese restaurant, Movie Gallery and Check 'N Go. Those businesses should open at the end of June, said Haney.

A Sheetz is planned at the northeast corner of Pa. 16 and Washington Township Boulevard and a bank is planned for the shopping center, he said.

The impact fees cost a developer $2,714 for each vehicle that would use Washington Township Boulevard from 4 to 6 p.m., a traffic engineer explained at a meeting in January.

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