Pa. church looking to scale back plans for new campus

June 16, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Otterbein Church is preparing scaled-back plans for a new facility off Welty Road four years after winning approval for a larger church.

Waynesboro Borough Council members said Wednesday they’re unsure whether they’ll require the church to submit a traffic impact study for the project.

“We’re not looking at a major influx to the area,” Councilman Craig Newcomer said.

He argued the council knows how many people to expect on Sundays. Plans call for an 800-seat church with 545 parking spaces.

“If we have other developments that impacted a road, we usually have one,” Council President C. Harold Mumma said of the traffic study.

Councilman Ronnie Martin asked the traffic impact study matter be referred to the council’s street committee. Other councilmen agreed.

Rick Duesler, Otterbein’s director of administration, and Ryan Clark from Hagerstown’s Triad Engineering said the revised plans are in early stages.

Borough Engineer Kevin Grubbs said the original land development plans for the site were approved on April 4, 2007.

“They came back this past week with a much downsized plan than what was originally proposed. ... It’s about one-third of what it was,” Grubbs said.

Like the original ones, the new plans include athletic fields and walking trails, according to Grubbs.

By making the site development smaller, the church can reduce its costs for storm water management systems, he said.

The church, which is currently on South Potomac Street, has three Sunday morning services with total attendance of 800, Duesler said.

According to Otterbein’s website, the church purchased 59 acres off Welty Road for $1.2 million in 2007 and later sold seven acres.

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