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Waynesboro planners won't recommend plan to build offices

June 10, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Although the Waynesboro Planning Commission favored a Camp Hill, Pa., developer's plan to build offices between the Waynesboro Mall and the Waynesboro Area YMCA, commission members expressed fear Monday that the project might turn into a business of a much bigger scale.

WAM Enterprises Inc. has asked the Waynesboro Borough Council to rezone the Alfred and Brenda Adkins home from medium-density residential to general commercial. The first step in that process was to go before the planning commission for its recommendation on the project.

The planners voted 5-0 on Monday to not recommend the rezoning.

"I would just like to avoid the big types of commercial uses," planner Deb Hoff said, using Sheetz as an example.

"I'm not really against this development. I just don't want to see a chain-link fence with something behind it," planner Don Weller said.

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Rezoning the property to commercial would not only allow for the 40,000 square feet of offices proposed by WAM Enterprises, but also most any other type of business that wanted to develop the property.

William Aiello, a WAM representative, said the company prefers to use the "good neighbor policy" when accepting public comment and going through the land development process. He reminded the commission that WAM developed Antietam Commons behind the nearby Martin's Food Market and worked with a local environmental organization to establish a park there.

"We like the area," Aiello said. "There's a lot of good things about the community."

If the property sold today and remained zoned medium-density residential, a developer could convert it into an apartment complex, planner Jon Fleagle said.

"You probably could put a lot of apartments there. I don't know whether that would excite this borough or not. ... At some point, it's going to be redeveloped," Aiello said.

Planning commission member Allen Porter abstained from the vote because he said he was so torn.

"You've got to look at what this property is going to look like five or 10 years from today," Porter said.

The early proposal from WAM Enterprises includes a two-story structure to the back of the property near the west wall of the YMCA. Eighty-seven parking spaces would accompany that building, although the actual design would only be submitted as part of the land development process.

Aiello said that redevelopment of the property now would support the borough's efforts to install a traffic light at the intersection of Pa. 16 and Northeast Avenue.

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