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Applebee's approval is held up by disagreement

March 07, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A proposed Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill outside Waynesboro has become tied up in a dispute between the developer of the Rouzerville Commons shopping center and the Washington (Pa.) Township Supervisors.

The supervisors' vote on the 5,130-square-foot restaurant has been tabled for the second time - now because the developer refused to sign an amendment to a roadway agreement for other parcels in the shopping center.

Bruce Haney of Echo Real Estate/Development of Pittsburgh indicated at the supervisors' meeting Monday that he did not have a problem with the fees imposed on him through the amendment.

However, he said he was upset that language in the amendment had been modified from what he previously reviewed with two supervisors and the township manager.

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"There are errors in it," he said in a heated exchange with the township's solicitor, John Lisko.

Lisko has repeatedly referred to "threatened litigation" by the developer, although Haney denied that claim.

"I never said the word 'lawsuit,'" Haney said, to which Lisko then referenced a past letter from Haney's attorney that alluded to litigation.

Two parcels of land are affected by the amendment to the roadway agreement.

The Applebee's restaurant is not proposed on either of those parcels, but the supervisors tabled action on the restaurant plans until the matter with Haney is resolved.

The dispute, as Haney called it, with the roadway agreement developed as he sought to add land to parcels 7 and 8 of the shopping center. Both of those parcels are on Pa. 16.

A Sheetz is proposed on parcel 8, and no plans have been submitted for a business on parcel 7 at this time.

The supervisors and Haney previously agreed he would pay traffic impact fees of $1,000 for every "trip" generated by new business in the shopping center. That "trip" is each vehicle using a major nearby road, Washington Township Boulevard, during peak travel times.

Haney first proposed development in the area while the impact fees were still at $1,000 per trip so his projects all were billed at that rate. Since his work at the site began, the impact fees have increased to $2,714 per trip.

The amendment to the roadway agreement calls for Haney to pay the $2,714 fee on some of the additional land conveyed to parcels 7 and 8.

This would total about $162,000 for parcel 7 and $65,915 for parcel 8, according to comments made by Supervisor Carroll Sturm during the meeting.

The figure for parcel 7 is partially hypothetical because the exact type of business at the location is unknown.

In exchange for literally paying the fees, Haney received a monetary credit for constructing Washington Township Boulevard.

"All impact fees he owes on all his parcels is credit against the amount of money he spent to build the boulevard," Sturm said.

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