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Dollar General wants to build in Londonderry, but plans need some work, and road safety a concern

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/5/18

Dollar General officials are interested in putting in a store on Route 230 and Deodate Road in Londonderry Township.

“We’re looking to put a Dollar General in your community,” …

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Dollar General wants to build in Londonderry, but plans need some work, and road safety a concern

Posted

Dollar General officials are interested in putting in a store on Route 230 and Deodate Road in Londonderry Township, but the possibility raised more concerns about safety at that intersection.

“We’re looking to put a Dollar General in your community,” said Bob Gage, senior vice president of Net Lease Development with GBT Realty Corp, during the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.

Gage said Dollar General officials already went before the township’s planning commission.

The project engineer, Michael Swank of the Lebanon-based Steckbeck Engineering & Surveying Inc., said they sought several waivers. He said they were hoping to talk to all of the involved boards so that they only have to design the plan once.

The plan itself was not presented during the meeting or voted on by the board. Township solicitor Jim Diamond said the board doesn’t weigh in until the planning commission makes a recommendation.

Supervisor Ron Kopp asked township staff how far along the Dollar General plan is.

Township building codes and zoning officer Jeff Burkhart said the planning commission has seen one plan.

“It drew a lot of comments, requiring probably some semi-major remodeling of the plan,” Burkhart said. He said Dollar General submitted a time extension to remedy some concerns.

“We have yet to see any modifications, revisions or throwback to any of the comments from ourselves or the engineers or the county,” Burkhart said. “As far as we’re concerned, we don’t have a plan we can even look at yet.”

Township manager Steve Letavic said in an email that the Dollar General representatives are interested in putting the store on the same side of Route 230 as Par Line Golf Course but across the street from the Tool Shed.

The land is being listed by High Associates Ltd. for $299,000. The corner lot is 4.2 acres. Jeff Kurtz with High Associates told the Press & Journal that he could not speak publicly regarding any activity for the property.

Safety concerns

Burkhart said the potential location of the driveway on Deodate drew concerns from the commission. The driveway, Burkhart said, wasn’t far enough north on Deodate to allow a truck to straighten out.

During the meeting, township Planning Commission Chairman Bruce Grossman expressed concern over safety at Route 230 and Deodate Road.

“The trucks would really aggravate it, if they block Deodate that way,” Grossman said.

Concerns about truck traffic on Deodate Road and Route 230 have come to the board before.

In early July, the board unanimously voted to amend the township’s zoning map which at the time, Diamond told the Press & Journal would alleviate a sight issue at the intersection. Burkhart said when trucks were parked or being unloaded at the intersection, it was difficult to see beyond the truck or equipment.

Truck traffic on Deodate Road came up again during a July 17 meeting.

Burkhart said it was tough because it is a state road.

“I don’t know how we petition the state to realize that they cannot effectively make a turn when they’re going from Middletown to E-town without completely stopping traffic in both lanes and swinging across and going around the pole, and they are completely closing the intersection until that truck clears,” Burkhart said.

Letavic said the tractor trailers driving to Conewago Industrial Park in Elizabethtown are using GPS to guide them, which he said is directing trucks to use Deodate Road instead of using Route 230 to the main entrance of the industrial park.

“Deodate Road is not wide enough to handle the trucks, and when they find out they are off track, it is very difficult for them to find a place to turn around or adjust their route and this causes some less-than-ideal conditions,” Letavic said.

He said the township has tried to work with direction-providing services to change their routes, adding that they have been unsuccessful so far.

In July, Burkhart said staff talked about putting signs pointing toward the industrial park away from Deodate. Diamond said the township could consider a no-truck ordinance similar to one in Middletown, adding that an engineering study would be needed.

Letavic said the township looks at its intersections to make sure that they are as safe as possible.

“The township strives to be diligent relative to the safety of its residents,” he said.