Planned Rt. 39 shopping plaza takes step forward

By Bill Bostic

Forest Hills Commons, a proposed shopping plaza behind the Sheetz store at the intersection of Linglestown and Colonial roads, was advanced by Lower Paxton’s Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors for review and a final vote. Commission members unanimously voted to recommend approval of the plan Wednesday night.

If approved by the supervisors, the plan calls for about 70,000 square feet of retail space on a 13-acre tract. The neighborhood plaza could attract two or three restaurants, a bank branch and a mix of other offerings. No fast-food restaurants or discount retailers are planned, said the developer, Eric Kessler of Vanguard Realty Group.

Prior to the vote, local activist Eric Epstein said there are outstanding informational items on environmental issues and some open question on the findings of a traffic impact study submitted by Kessler, who is a Lower Paxton resident. Epstein, who heads up a local watchdog group called SWAN, said he and SWAN weren’t in a position to endorse or oppose the plan until Kessler provides the requested information.

Epstein went on to thank Kessler for willingly meeting two times to discuss his project with SWAN members. Kessler also attended a town hall meeting sponsored by Linglestown Gazette on Forest Hills Commons and the planned retirement-style community at Blue Ridge Country Club. “This cooperation sets a new paradigm moving forward,” said Epstein.

Also, Linglestown resident Bill Bostic asked township officials to consider asking Kessler to make a contribution toward future improvements on Colonial Road at entrances to the Weis store and proposed plaza. The nature of the entrances could significantly change when the tract located between Weis and Dunkin’ Donuts to the east is developed, Bostic said.

The issues raised by Epstein and Bostic could be addressed during the supervisors’ review of the Forest Hills Commons proposal.

Developing story …

12 thoughts on “Planned Rt. 39 shopping plaza takes step forward

  1. Joelen Hoover

    This will significantly impact traffic on Linglestown Road, which can be a bit of nightmare lately. This is a major concern for one that works in the area. Am also concerned about the threat to wildlife/environmental issues that development of this magnitude would bring to the area. Hope there is more study and thoughtful consideration before moving forward.

  2. Mark Gaspich

    Hey B2. Any word on the traffic lights at colonial and Patton roads being fixed? Currently they are synching for cross traffic not the main road

    1. Bill BosticBill Bostic Post author

      Hey, Mark. I called the LP Public Works Department and was told the township’s contractor that works on traffic lights, PERCS Traffic Signals in Mechanicsburg, is supposed to be in the township on Friday, 9/8/17. The township staffer could not verify whether work was slated for Linglestown and Patton roads. Last week I was told work would be done on that light this week. I’ll continue to monitor the situation.

      Because the sensors in the road were damaged by the sidewalk contractor, the light’s timing is running on a PennDOT-mandated program. It is a generic program that does not take into account traffic conditions.

  3. Jeanie

    How on earth could this area support ANOTHER bank branch? I don’t think I’ve been another place in America that has so many. I have been using “another bank” as a *joke* in response to the question “what’s going in there” for at least the past 5 years.

    1. Eileen

      Do we need another shopping area? Do we want Linlestown Rd to become another Jonestown Rd or Carlisle Pike? Traffic is already unmanageable during rush hour. There is plenty of empty retail space on Jonestown Rd. With the rise of online shopping people are spending less time in such brick and mortar stores, so in a few years this will just be another ugly shuttered concrete monstrosity located on a piece of swampy real estate; after all the water from the mountain has to go somewhere.

    2. Eileen

      Agree and many people do not use physical banks; they transact business on line. The proposed use must be based on an outdated 20th century business model rather than a 21st century one.

  4. Kyle Petersen

    Do you really need another pair of shoes? Who gets to make the decision? I guess We do in your world. Go buy a property and let your neighbors decide if they want you to just own it and pay the property taxes on it for no resson. You people are so noble with someone else’s money!

  5. Susanna Back

    Well to me I think there is enough Plaza. Why don’t they just take the money and go to the Colonial Park Mall and Sears tear down and rebuild it the whole shopping that looks crap? We really don’t need any Plaza on Linglestown Road. Why not bring the corns fields and the barns back. This is post tie be a old country fields not a town. I can talk miles after miles of what should of been done years goes. But no one never listen.


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