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Judge hears appeal on fireworks store

September 29, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - After two days of testimony in an appeal on a rejected land development plan for a fireworks store in Antrim Township, Franklin County Judge John R. Walker said it will be a few weeks before he makes a decision on whether the project can go forward.

"I'm going to be looking at parking space now whenever I pull into a store," Walker said, referring to the extensive testimony on parking issues in the land development plan for Sky King Fireworks Inc. That company's plan for a store at Mason-Dixon Road and Mountain View Drive near State Line, Pa., was denied Jan. 9 by the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors.

Walker gave the attorneys for Sky King and Antrim Township until the end of October to submit additional written information and case law before he makes a ruling.

Sky King is asking the court to reverse the supervisors' decision so that it can build in the community commercial zone. Otherwise, the property will not be available to the company for that purpose.

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Last year, after Sky King initially submitted the plan, the township amended an ordinance making a fireworks store a conditional use only in highway commercial zones.

Joseph McDowell, an engineer for the township, testified the plan submitted by Sky King last year and rejected by the supervisors did not meet various requirements of the township's zoning and subdivision and land development ordinances. One of the shortcomings was that it did not call for Mountain View Drive to be widened from 24 feet to 32 feet, he testified.

On Jan. 8, the Antrim Township Planning Commission recommended approval of the plan contingent on Sky King addressing several recommendations, including upgrading Mountain View Drive. Sky King's revised plan submitted to the court indicated the road would be repaved, but not widened.

The two sides differed over the issue of widening the road. Sky King attorney Mark Silver contended that existing roads to a commercial development do not have to be widened to 32 feet, while township attorney John Lisko argued that it applies to existing and proposed roads.

Sky King and the township also differed on tractor-trailer parking, with the company contending it addressed the issue in the revised plan and McDowell testifying there was inadequate room for trucks to maneuver in the lot.

McDowell testified the plan failed to comply with ordinances in its screening from a nearby residential area, lack of parking for handicapped-accessible vans and entrances not marked for one-way or two-way access.

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