Mount Joy Township rejects rezoning for shopping center – LNP | LancasterOnline - 1Home

Mount Joy Township rejects rezoning for shopping center – LNP | LancasterOnline

Please enable JavaScript to properly view our site.Dozens of Mount Joy Township residents attended a special meeting where the township supervisors heard and rejected a rezoning request from Pennmark Management Co. Dozens of Mount Joy Township residents attended a special meeting where the township supervisors heard and rejected a rezoning request from Pennmark Management Co. The Mount […]



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Dozens of Mount Joy Township residents attended a special meeting where the township supervisors heard and rejected a rezoning request from Pennmark Management Co. 
Dozens of Mount Joy Township residents attended a special meeting where the township supervisors heard and rejected a rezoning request from Pennmark Management Co. 
The Mount Joy Township supervisors unanimously rejected a development company’s latest attempt to bring a shopping center to land it owns in the township.
Pennmark Management Co. had asked the township supervisors to rezone their property at the intersection of Route 230 and Cloverleaf Road from agricultural to commercial to allow it to build a 500,000-square-foot shopping center anchored by Aldi and Wawa.
Residents at a hearing Monday night on the zoning request were unified in opposition to the proposal. They said it would cause unneeded traffic at the expense of farmland.
Board member Gerald Cole said after the meeting that the board’s attorney, who was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting, advised members that the proposed zoning amendment was not up to the township’s standards. The amendment was written by Pennmark’s attorneys.
“The ordinance they submitted did not comply with the municipalities planning code. There were inconsistencies and errors in its language,” Cole said.
Cole declined to say whether he would have supported the zoning change if the errors had been corrected.
Pennmark CFO Bob Sichelstiel said after Monday’s meeting that the company needed to discuss the decision before commenting further.
Pennmark has made three attempts to rezone the site in 1994, 2006 and 2015. The 2015 effort was rejected by the township supervisors. The two earlier attempts ended after the retailers pulled out amid public opposition.
During Monday’s meeting, Pennmark made their pitch to the supervisors as to why the land should be rezoned to general commercial. Its engineers argued that despite the current zoning, the property is a good fit for a shopping center.
Pennmark’s traffic engineer said that under township ordinances, the developer will be required to widen Route 230 and improve surrounding intersections along Cloverleaf Road. Greg Creasy of Grove Miller Associates said the changes will help alleviate existing traffic problems as well the additional traffic created by the development. He predicted the project will create 800 additional round trips during the evening rush hour when fully completed.
“Improvements like that have a huge effect on flow on the traffic corridor,” Creasy said.
A planner hired by the developer said that the property’s size and proximity to the Route 230 corridor and a Route 283 interchange made it a good fit for a commercial development.
Sichelstiel told the board that demand for the shopping center would be strong. He said that in addition to Aldi and Wawa, who had signed leases for the shopping center, tenants like Panera, Five Below and Chipotle were interested in the site.
Residents said that having the retailers nearby was not worth the traffic and changes to the area that the development would cause.
They said they have concerns about the loss of farmland in the area and said they didn’t mind having to drive 15 minutes to other shopping centers in the area.
Most of all, they worried about the increase of traffic on township roads, as the area sees an increase in development pressure, with multiple warehouses proposed nearby.
“I like to raise my kids in a small town,” said Jimmy Everly, who lives near the area where the shopping center was proposed.
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