LEFC final development plan approved

By on March 13, 2019

Warwick Township Supervisors approved the final land development plan for Lancaster Evangelical Free Church on March 6.

While plans to expand the church might seem like a project affecting only the church, it is actually interconnected to the overall Sixth Street Corridor Project, which will change the Warwick area landscape over the next five years. Located at Rothsville and Pierson roads, the rapidly growing church plans to add an auditorium and classrooms, which will replace the current modular buildings. A maintenance building is also being planned.

Located at Rothsville Road and Pierson roads, LEFC has a rapidly growing congregation. Plans include adding an auditorium and classrooms &tstr; which will replace the current modular buildings — and a new maintenance building.

The expansion of LEFC is also a part of the long-awaited Sixth Street Corridor Project, which is a public/private partnership between Warwick Township, Lancaster Evangelical Free Church, the Lititz Reserve developer and Moravian Manor. As Sixth Street is extended from Woodcrest Avenue to Rothsville Road, there will be a new entrance to the church off the expanded Sixth Street. Waivers were approved for curbing and sidewalks.

The church will also be located near one of two traffic roundabouts that are being planned at either end of the Sixth Street extension. One will be at Rothsville Road and Clay Road as Sixth Street is expanded. The other will be at the expanded Sixth Street and Woodcrest Avenue.

The roundabouts will be similar to those in Hershey on Route 322, and will serve to improve traffic flow on the busy roadways. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation modern-day roundabouts offer a number of benefits, such as reducing conflict points, slowing speeds, and providing easier decision making. When comparing a roundabout to a signal, PennDOT studies show that roundabouts provide a 90 percent reduction in fatal crashes, 75 percent reduction in injury crashes, 30-40 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes, and 10 percent reduction in bicycle crashes. Roundabouts improve pedestrian safety offering two simple crossings of one-way traffic moving at much slower speeds.

According to Patrick Barrett, assistant township manager, the research provided by PennDOT also shows that roundabouts typically carry about 30 percent more vehicles than similarly sized signalized intersections during peak flow conditions. During off-peak conditions, roundabouts cause almost no delay, but traffic signals can cause delay to side street and left-turning traffic from the major street. Increased capacity at roundabouts is due to the continuously flowing nature of yielding only until a gap is available, as compared to waiting turns at a signal.

The traffic roundabouts will be funded by a traffic grants and are not expected to be in place for several years.

The Sixth Street Corridor Project will be done in phases, starting in 2020. The entire project includes the roundabout at the Rothsville Road and Clay Road intersection, the extension of Sixth Street from Rothsville Road to Woodcrest Avenue, and construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Woodcrest Avenue and Sixth Street. A new road that is not yet named will be constructed to intersect with Pierson Road and Sixth Street. Next, the existing Pierson Road and Rothsville Road intersection will be reconfigured.

The full plan fits together like pieces of a puzzle, including LEFC, the expanded Lititz Reserve development, the Lititz Public Library, and the Wayne Siegrist farm. Change is also underway for the former Fulton Bank building off Lititz Pike at Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill. Fulton Bank has moved to its new location closer to Millport Road. The previous building is being torn down to make way for a car wash.

Supervisors approved the final land development plan for the new Riptide Car Wash, which is set to begin later this spring. The building will be demolished, so that a new 3,000-square-foot car wash can be built. The car wash will have three lanes, with two as paid lanes, one with a person and the other with a kiosk. The third lane will be a VIP lane for Riptide members. The car wash will be staffed and will have set hours, rather than being open 24 hours.

The entrance from Lititz Pike will remain, providing access to Stauffer’s and to the car wash. There will be another entrance to the car wash from Millport and the car wash is being designed to prevent stacking of cars awaiting service. The car wash will recycle water.

Supervisors also approved a request from Hunter Hess to subdivide his farm on Becker Road into two parcels, one at 39 acres and the other at 40 acres. The plan relates to preserving the apple orchards that were originally farmed by Hess’s grandfather.

“This is what my grandfather would have wanted me to do,” said Hess. In other business, supervisors granted time extensions to the LEFC project, Lititz Reserve Phase 7, and the Riss-Herr final land development plan. They also OKed a request for a release of credit for Jonestown Bank.

A resolution to participate in cooperative bidding and purchase of ultra-thin bond wearing course and chip seal was approved, along with a resolution for TRDs (Transferrable Development Rights) for the Raymond Hurst tract. The 16th annual Ride for Literacy Bike Ride on May 11 was approved.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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