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Waynesboro church seeks 'real decision' on traffic study requirements

New Otterbein Church planned for construction on Welty Road remains in limbo

August 17, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — A new Otterbein Church planned for construction on Welty Road remains in limbo as church and municipal officials debate the scope of a traffic-impact study.

Pastor Mike Newman addressed the Waynesboro Borough Council on Wednesday regarding a traffic study required by the council. Newman said he's concerned about the borough asking how traffic from the development will impact the road's integrity.

Newman said he's worried the borough council wants that information to require the church to rebuild Welty Road.

"We're not prepared and cannot be in a position where we're forced to repair the road. ... That'll be a project-breaker for us," he said.

The church's contracted traffic engineer, Neil Parrott of Traffic Solutions Inc., said he typically reports on issues like intersections, turn lanes and traffic signals.

Parrott said he had never before been asked to take a core sample of a road as a part of a traffic study.

Newman asked whether the road impact request is appropriate.

"I believe it is within the scope," Councilman Ronnie Martin said.

The matter should be discussed among the council, the borough's director of engineering services and the borough's solicitor before the next council meeting, Martin said.

"I guess my frustration here is, on behalf of the church — how long is this going to continue?" Newman asked.

Two months have been spent determining whether a traffic study would be required, then what needs to be included in it, he said.

Newman asked for "a real decision" at the next meeting.

"A decision will be made at the next meeting," Councilman Craig Newcomer said.

Plans for the site were scaled back from the church's original design. They now feature an 800-seat church with 545 parking spaces. According to Otterbein Church'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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