Despite some back and forth between township supervisors, a proposed Dollar General store is one step closer to opening in North Hempfield.
Supervisors during a meeting last week granted final conditional approval for proposed plans in a 3-2 vote. Supervisors Rob Ritson and John Silvis voted against the project.
Proposed plans call for redeveloping a vacant building, located at 1247 Business Route 66. The property shares a driveway with Comcast Technical Operations and is located across the street from North Hempfield Self-Storage. The building previously housed a roller skating rink and a machine shop, said Patrick Karnash, director of planning and zoning.
Supervisors approved the project with several conditions related to stormwater, an exterior lighting plan, a sign package including directional signage, erosion and sediment approval, and cross easement language.
However, during a workshop meeting last month, several supervisors expressed concerns with the project related to the driveway, which leads to both the vacant building and Comcast. The entrance to the driveway is split by grass and a sign before it converges together leading up to the buildings.
“At some point there has to be a feel for this versus just looking at it on paper. … As it stands right now, there’s a lot of questions related to the ingress, egress on a road that, once people get past Fox Ridge and Stone Ridge, they take off regardless of speed limit,” Ritson said during the workshop meeting.
Ritson added that there should be two separate driveways for both businesses, while Supervisor Doug Weimer suggested moving the driveway for Dollar General farther down Business Route 66. However, any changes related to the highway would need to go through PennDOT, which could take up to a year for approvals, officials said.
According to Karnash, the developers for Dollar General are working with Comcast on possible road improvements for the entrance. He noted that new signage will be added to help customers entering and exiting the site and to “help drivers get to their desired destination.”
Developers for the project are required to get permits for earth moving and stormwater before work can begin on the building.