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Plans for former John Wallace Kitchen to be presented

January 23, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Remodeling plans for the former John Wallace Kitchen will go before the Waynesboro Zoning Hearing Board next Monday, as the owner seeks to create hotel rooms on the business' second floor.

Hotels and motels are not permitted in the Town Center zone, so Aziz Lahlou must seek a special exception to the ordinance, Code Enforcement Officer Daniel Sheffler said.

"Once it goes before the zoning hearing board, that's the final answer," Sheffler said.

The public hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in the council chambers of Waynesboro Borough Hall.

Lahlou's proposal would adapt 3,500 square feet of former apartments into rental units above the restaurant.

Sheffler said Lahlou originally submitted plans for eight bed-and-breakfast rooms, but each unit was shown with a kitchen. Kitchens are not allowed in the definition of a bed-and-breakfast room, and those facilities are only permitted a maximum of six units.

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Lahlou returned with sketches for eight hotel rooms, each with a living room, single bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, according to Sheffler.

The third floor of 81 W. Main St. is designated for a manager's living quarters.

The town's Best Western predated the zoning ordinance, and Burgundy Lane Bed and Breakfast was allowed in the Town Center under the "bed and breakfast" constraints, Sheffler said.

"There's nothing really to compare (John Wallace) to," he said.

Lahlou, in an October 2006 interview, said he hopes suite-style hotel rooms will appeal to out-of-town businesspeople using the restaurant for meetings.

His plans at the time of the interview were to open an international cuisine restaurant with live entertainment on the weekends.

The John Wallace Kitchen opened in 1929 and moved to 81 W. Main St. in the 1960s. It was known for the "Texas Hot Dog" with chili sauce.

The restaurant closed in August 2005.

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