Banquet barn

By on February 26, 2014

If plans progress as expected, this barn will host banquets, baked goods and deli delectibles. Photo by Stephen Seeber

If plans progress as expected, this barn will host banquets, baked goods and deli delectibles. Photo by Stephen Seeber

Traffic addressed for 300-seat facility; neighbor concerns unresolved

Warwick Township Supervisors held a second public hearing on development plans for the historical barn at Newport Square on East Newport Road.

Country Home Catering, which is associated with Zig’s Bakery in Lititz, would like to convert the lower floor of the attractive old barn into a commercial bakery, with an attached retail store and deli. The vision for the second floor is a 300-seat banquet facility.

Chris Venarchik from RGS Associates, a Lancaster engineering firm, was on hand for the Feb. 19 hearing to detail the proposed project.

Traffic flow, particularly to accommodate any trucks needed to service the business, has been a concern. Venarchik feels those concerns have been properly researched and resolved. He said tractor trailer truck traffic would amount to one visit per day between 5 and 6 a.m., when the parking area is empty.

Proper signage will also help to avoid potential traffic problems, according to Venarchik.

“It was always proposed to feature a right in / right out traffic pattern along Newport,” he said. “The bakery and catering business would be directed to the right in / right out traffic and told to avoid Creekside Lane.”

Supervisor Herb Flosdorf questioned the impact tractor trailer trucks would have on Creekside Lane.

“Tractor trailers would be using the right in / right out, including our trucks and vans,” said Country Home Catering’s Brandon Ziegler. “We intend to use that so we don’t burden Creekside.”

New concerns, however, were addressed by James Husser, president of the adjoining condo association. He said there is a difference of opinion on the interpretation of responsibility in areas shared between condo owners and the new business. Residents are concerned about issues such as traffic, snow removal and maintenance.

“We have taken the step of hiring counsel to look into the documents as far as use of the land and easements,” he said. “We’ve been opening up dialogue with the applicant, but have not come to full terms. It remains an open item which needs to be resolved.”

“We are willing to take care of snow removal and both sides of the parking lot,” Ziegler said. “We’re trying to be a good neighbor, even if that means bringing in a skid loader and truck to cover the snow issue.”

Supervisors, sympathetic to the concerns of neighboring residents, pressed for a timely resolution. The condo association has only recently become engaged in the planning process.

The township supervisors now have 30 days (from Feb. 19) to vote on the matter.

In other township news

Warwick Township resident Don Erb questioned supervisors about their financial support of the Lancaster County Drug Enforcement Task Force.

He pointed out, up until 2012 supervisors had supported the task force at the suggested level of $1 per capita. Last year, however, that support dropped back to 50 cents per capita.

“The drug problem is county wide,” said township manager Dan Zimmerman. “It just makes sense that everyone participate in funding. We think it is a great organization, we just question how it should be funded.”

Zimmerman added that the township has nothing against the task force, but there is a difference of opinion on how things are done and reported.

Erb cited a recent report that claimed without proper funding the task force could cease to exist by 2017. A county-wide tax has been mentioned as a solution.

“I actually advocate that,” said supervisor Dave Kramer. “This should be paid from a tax base across the whole population.”

Supervisor chairman Logan Myers reassured Erb that his concerns have been heard and would be carefully considered.

Gary P. Klinger is a freelance reporter who covers the Warwick Township and Lititz Borough municipal beats for the Record Express. He welcomes your feedback via email at klingerglobal@gmail.com.

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