A Giant start? Demolition work could begin by the end of this month

By on August 8, 2012

By: GARY P. KLINGER Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

The pace of a number of local development projects inched forward at Tuesday night’s Ephrata Township Supervisors meeting.

Supervisors approved the next round of land development for the Ephrata Giant grocery store project, which is being planned for East Main Street.

This settles a number of red tape issues relative to storm water management, financial security requirements and the extension of the deadline to file final plans by an additional 90 days. Developers indicated to supervisors that the final settlements for properties included in the new development will take place this week and next, with plans to break ground on demolition-related work by the end of this month.

Also related to the Ephrata Giant Foods project, supervisors approved a number of waivers related to land development plan processing for John Reiff. Reiff is the owner of A & J Auto Sales and several adjacent properties along Route 322, just east of the revised access road at the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road. According to plans, the house directly next to the auto sales lot will be demolished and the car lot expanded in its place. As part of the restructuring of the access roadway, a new private access from the rear of the property will be added. Developers for the Giant project agreed to supply signage which would prohibit large truck or thru-traffic on the private drive, thus resolving concerns supervisors had with regard to road widths and maintenance.

In other development news:

?Morton Fry, owners of Frysville Farms, addressed supervisors about his request to be able to subdivide his farm into plots, which would be in keeping with his estate planning desires.

At issue is that the proposed subdivision land has not thus far met with approval at either of the townships in which his land is located, Ephrata and East Cocalico.

Fry explained to supervisors that officials at East Cocalico had a number of concerns with the plan. However, he was requesting that Ephrata Township revisit the plan. Fry wants to subdivide his 137 acre farm, creating one lot which would be shaped similar to a dumbbell in order to make up the required 50 acre minimum.

Township Manager Steve Sawyer was not closed to the idea of reconsidering Fry’s request, but pointed out to supervisors that in order to rule favorably on the matter current township ordinances might need to be amended in a number of different ways, one of which might allow for the subdivision of such farms so long as the parent farm remained at least 100 or more acres. Sawyer further suggested that supervisors take some time to consider what Fry presented so that it could be revisited among them at their upcoming morning meeting which Fry indicated he would also attend.

Once the supervisors have had a chance to revisit the matter more closely, they will at that point decide whether or not the matter should be sent back to both the township and county planning commission for their blessings.

?Contractor Gerry Horst addressed supervisors on a request to switch Phase 2 and Phase 3 for the Autumn Hills development along North State Street.

According to Horst, there had recently been renewed interest in the development but that interest was to build on lots located in Phase 3. In addition, he explained that development of Phase 2 would require significant amounts of backfill, which would be provided from the development of Phase 3. Supervisors were interested in obtaining a date commitment from Horst regarding improvements to the Schoeneck Road intersection. Timing of these improvements would have to be within a one-year window once a High Occupancy Permit is obtained from PennDOT.

Horst gave supervisors his commitment to complete the improvements to the intersection once the HOP was obtained, but expressed concerns about holding up development of Phase 3 until that had been received. Supervisor agreed to allow Phase 3 to move forward based on that commitment.

"I know this is a cloud on the horizon and I’m prepared to deal with it," he said.

Phase 3 will include homes built on 43 lots.

?And finally, supervisors approved plans proposed by Ivan and Minnie Auker to add a second dwelling on the family farm. Their son, Allen, would like to place a modular home on the property for his own use. Plans included improvements to the property’s sewage management plan by adding a new septic system and drain field adequate to service both homes, in addition to a new well. Approval was somewhat of a formality as the additional home will not disturb the lot or have any significant impact on traffic. More GIANT, page A16

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