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Washington Township tells Dollar General 'no'

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By George Guido
Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 1:46 a.m.

It doesn't appear a Dollar General store will be opening in Washington Township any time soon.

Supervisors on Thursday turned down a request by the Nashville-based grocery and general store chain to build a 9,100-square-foot location at Route 66 and Beaver Run Road.

Officials cited nine instances where the site plan didn't conform with township property development standards.

Tim Weinman, representing developer Penntex Ventures of Greensburg, presented a proposal that included a 70 foot by 130 building with 32 parking spaces and a rear entrance for deliveries.

Weinman added the store would employ 10 to 12 part-time and full-time employees.

The biggest obstacle was the side of the building that would be located too close to Beaver Run Road. Another problem officials cited was a corner lot having two frontages.

The front of the store would face established Citgo and Sunoco gasoline station/convenience stores.

Supervisors had several suggestions, such as acquiring a portion of an adjacent property to move the building farther from Beaver Run Road, but Weinman said he understood the elderly owner of the nearby property was ill. He also added that rearranging the building on the lot would cut down on the number of parking spaces.

Several residents spoke in favor of the proposal. Among them was Realtor Cheryl Harchuck of Coldwell Banker who said her clients often asked where residents could shop in Washington Township and the planned daily hours of operation (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.) would be convenient to residents and potential home-buyers.

Weinman said the company had targeted that specific lot and was asked if Dollar General would consider another site in the township.

“Once we're turned down, we don't come back to a community,” Weinman said. Penntex Ventures has 30 days to appeal the ruling to Westmoreland County court.

“We might,” Weinman said when asked by a reporter if an appeal might occur.

No 2014 tax hike

Supervisors released a $2.57 million budget for next year that keeps the real estate tax rate at 12 mills.

Next year's spending plan is about $83,500 less than this year's budget because officials said they anticipated less revenue from Marcellus shale natural gas drilling impact fees.

The largest expenditure in the budget is $653,000 for police wages to patrol the 31-square mile township.

Supervisors plan to adopt the final budget on Dec. 12.

Meeting date changed

The township municipal authority meeting will be moved up to Nov. 21 from Nov. 28. The township's planning commission won't meet this month.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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