Former hotel property to become truck repair center

By on July 22, 2015

Editor’s note: This story is updated to reflect correct photo and address of Penn Dutch Motel property.

The East Cocalico Township Zoning Hearing board voted to give a property owner the green light to convert an old hotel property to a truck repair facility.

The board OK’d the application of Barry Simpson, 108 Garden Spot Road, Ephrata, for the property that was formerly the Penn Dutch Motel at 2275 N. Reading Road.

Photo by Preston Whitcraft The Penn Dutch Motel eight-acre tract, 2275 N. Reading Road, will be the site of a newly approved truck repair facility in East Cocalico Township.

Photo by Preston Whitcraft
The Penn Dutch Motel eight-acre tract, 2275 N. Reading Road, will be the site of a newly approved truck repair facility in East Cocalico Township.

The site, owned by Babul Investments LLC, was sold earlier this year to Barrdon Properties Limited Partnership, contingent upon receiving a zoning waiver for the land which is zoned general commercial.

This location, served by public water and sewer, will allow Simpson to consolidate his business, currently operating in two rented buildings in the Brownstown area, into one location.

Plans call for constructing a 6,000-square-foot warehouse and a 22,500-square-foot truck repair facility.

“The business started as a frame and alignment shop,” Simpson explained. “We evolved into a truck repair facility with 25 employees, about one-third in management.

“We’re open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., do not do truck sales and we recycle most everything. We burn waste oil for heat, scrap metal goes to Ephrata Recycling, and the only thing in our dumpster is paper trash.”

Four residential property owners came forward to question the proposed routing of the truck traffic on the property, landscape screening to be provided and the noise level of the operation.

Truck routes, explained architect Todd Shoaf, were predicated on the land typography, safety issues for exiting Route 272 and re-entering it, and aesthetic concerns for the Route 272 property façade.

Discussion of landscaping plans for the property was premature; however, the township has strict ordinances for landscape screening from adjacent, residential properties, he said.

Simpson said that his workers can talk to one another while they are working and be heard. At most, the decibel level would be like that of an idling tractor trailer. In hot weather overhead doors on each end of the building would be open to allow cross-ventilation.

Zoning hearing board members Brian Wise, Amy Nedimyer and Ashley Fichthorn, chair, unanimously granted the application with standard conditions. Attorney Michael Davis of Barley Snyder Attorneys at Law represented the applicant.

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