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.
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