When: Ephrata Borough Council meeting, April 11.
What happened: The borough council filed an application for a final land development plan that called for a 30-unit apartment building at 1300 W. Main St. The plan, submitted by developer Reid Myers, depicts a three-story building of 30 apartments with 45 parking spaces. . An access driveway leading from the old bank to West Main would be retained, with a right-hand exit only from the parking lot. It is the site of the former BB&T Bank at Hummer Road and West Main.
As well: The Board approved the waiver of a preliminary plan for the project. The vote was 6-1, with council member Linda Martin opposed.
Public comment: About 35 people attended the meeting, most from the Lincoln Heights area which will be directly affected by the development. Traffic was the main concern. Myers had called for a full traffic plan to be taken down, saying the site was too small and the cost – around $10,000 – too high to warrant a count. He wanted to rely on other methods of traffic counts that did not include actual peak hour counts. Steve Springer, who has a dental practice at 23 Hummer Road, said council approval would create “a nightmare situation” because any flats resident wishing to drive west on Main Street would have to use Hummer Road. This would create what some consider to be a traffic overload of an already busy intersection. Another complaint was that the site is too small for a three story building.
Quoteable: “You’re doubling our population,” he said of the 30 new apartment project. “We feel besieged,” said resident Tony Zbrzezny, who said there were only 30 homes left in a three-block area.
Next steps: Myers said he would pay for an actual traffic study. Due to this change, the project will next be reviewed at the June 9 board meeting. The deadline to act on the plan is June 19. Legally, plans must be approved within 90 days of submission, otherwise the municipality waives permission or denial of a plan unless the developer grants an extension. Myers reminded the board that he had already granted an extension.
In other cases: Council has approved a request by BR Kreider & Son to close Bethany Road between East Fulton and East Main Street from April 18 to June 3. The northbound lane will only be open to local traffic up to Landis Road, while the southbound lane will remain open during construction. Both lanes will be open on weekends and evenings. The plan calls for widening the intersection and creating right and left turn lanes from Bethany to Main Street. A request from Horst Construction was also approved to close the sidewalks on South State Street and East Main Street at 1 E. Main St., the former Ephrata Review building. The work will last about six months and will be completed before the start of the Ephrata Fair on September 21.