Proposed development receives pushback in Manchester Twp.
Several Manchester Township residents voiced opposition Tuesday night to a proposed two-story medical office project at the corner of Church Road and Roosevelt Avenue.
The project, its opponents said, would only exacerbate existing traffic congestion.
The final land development plan of a two-story, 40,000 square-foot office on 7.7 acres, located in the 1400 block of Church Road, was recommended for approval to the township's Board of Supervisors by the local planning commission on June 24, said Stu Olewiler, zoning officer for Manchester Township.
Construction on the project can't commence, however, until the developer, 1400 Church Road LLC, presents the final land development plan to the supervisors for consideration, Olewiler added.
"Living close to that intersection, traffic is horrendous," said Cassandra Silimperi, a Manchester Township resident, during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting. "I personally have been involved in an accident in that intersection, and I am vehemently opposed to the development."
While a final land development plan has yet to be submitted, supervisors unanimously approved a reverse subdivision plan to combine three existing lots into one at the Church Road property. Those lots would join to form the facility's parking lot.
A traffic study was conducted on a "typical weekday" from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 28., said Lisa Wingert, chairperson for Manchester Township's board.
According to the study, the average annual daily traffic at the corner of Church Road and Roosevelt Avenue would increase by an additional 1,449 vehicles if the project went forward.
Wingert said that both Church Road and Roosevelt Avenue are state roads maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and there is little the township can do to prevent traffic.
"All we can do is call PennDOT and ask them to do another study, we do not control that road," Wingert said.
Silimperi questioned the accuracy of the traffic study. She added that the township can do something to prevent further traffic by denying the land development plan.
"We don't have to build on that property and increase the traffic," she said.
Other residents who attended Tuesday's meeting also shared similar frustrations and concerns, including Manchester Township resident Paul Bailey, who said he's "suffering" the same consequences as other nearby property owners.
"I break the law daily at this intersection," Bailey said. "I risk my family's life there just to get through that intersection. ... You should not let this (developer) allow a development to happen there."
For every proposed plan that comes in front of the township, traffic is analyzed by the traffic engineer, staff, planning commission and supervisors, said Tim James, the township's manager, via email.
"It's in the developer’s hands," James said. "We can’t react until the board can review and take action on the plan submission."
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