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Applebee's plans approved by supervisors

Applebee's plans approved by supervisors

March 21, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Obstacles tying up the development of an Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill outside Waynesboro were mostly cleared Monday with the Washington Township Supervisors' decision to sign an agreement with Echo Real Estate/Development of Pittsburgh.

"Does this mean I get preferential treatment for reservations?" Supervisor Carroll Sturm joked when the supervisors unanimously approved the restaurant plans nearly three months after they were first submitted.

The 5,130-square-foot restaurant in Rouzerville Commons became entangled in a dispute between the township and Echo Development regarding fees imposed on two parcels of land on Pa. 16. The supervisors repeatedly tabled the restaurant plans pending an agreement regarding those two parcels - one designated as the future home of a Sheetz and the other with no definite plans.

Now, Echo Development received the go-ahead for the restaurant on the condition the developer sign the agreement.

The supervisors' solicitor, John Lisko, said the developer's attorney indicated the agreement will be signed.

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The agreement addresses traffic impact fees, which are imposed on new development along Washington Township Boulevard. Using a formula created with traffic engineers, the fees are charged at a rate of $2,714 for each vehicle accessing the business at peak times.

The agreement stipulates impact fees will total $65,915 for Sheetz, which is proposed at the intersection of Pa. 16 and Washington Township Boulevard. Fees for the other parcel will be determined based on the size of the business.

The Applebee's restaurant was ultimately excluded from impact fees because Echo Development already paid $250,000 in those fees for the shopping center housing the restaurant. The developer also has $100,000 in escrow for a traffic light and built a portion of Washington Township Boulevard, Lisko said.

Although official plans have not been submitted for Sheetz, the supervisors recently heard an informational presentation about the proposal from a representative of the company.

"They design a building around their menu," Sturm said, explaining that the convenience retailer heavily relies on business from its food sales.

The Sheetz proposed in Washington Township would be smaller than the one on the corner of Longmeadow Road and Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown. It would have outdoor seating and eight two-sided pumps, according to Sturm.

The supervisors discussed the agreement with Echo Development in executive session. While in executive session, they also discussed making an offer on real estate needed for future construction of Washington Township Boulevard.

The supervisors later voted to proceed with the offer.

"We have been attempting to acquire the right of way across Dr. (James) Teeter's property," Sturm said.

Teeter has opposed the road crossing his land.

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