Springfield Township supervisors approved final subdivision and land development plans for a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter last week, nudging the township one step closer to becoming home to a new retail center.

Plans for the proposed Springfield Towne Centre, to be developed on 123 acres just east of Interstate 79 off Route 208, were submitted by ASC Development in late June. The township had 90 days afterward to approve the plans.

While some township residents were present, only Rick Dillaman spoke up with concerns about the site plans. Members of Mercer County Citizens for Responsible Development, who have publicly opposed the proposed shopping center, did not appear to be present.

Dillaman, whose 12-acre property abuts the far eastern side of the proposed Wal-Mart, was mainly concerned that site plans list an area of his property as a point of concern with regard to stormwater runoff.

Kevin Brett, an engineer for the project with Lennon Smith Souleret, Pittsburgh, explained that the property boasts a state-of-the-art drainage system, with two runoff ponds strategically located behind the shopping center in wetlands. Dillaman’s property is near the secondary pond, and the point of concern illustrates that, in the event of heavy runoff, some may leak onto his property. Brett assured Dillaman that is unlikely to happen.

Brett further explained that the only reason runoff would get to his property would be if the drainage system were not being maintained.

It is the responsibility of the developer to regularly inspect and clean the storm drains, and the township should ensure this occurs, added township administrator Barb Brown. She said the township engineer reviewed the drainage plans twice and had no concerns.

Dillaman was further concerned that noise and light from the property would affect him.

The site of this Supercenter is one of the more isolated ones, Brett said, adding that noise from the interstate has always been there and will still be louder than any noise created by Wal-Mart deliveries and traffic. The loading docks and trash dumpsters will be located behind the center, further reducing noise impacts, he said.

Also, despite Dillaman’s concerns, the township has no ordinance regulating noise. A line of trees and the wetlands separate the shopping center property from Dillaman’s, Brett noted, and will further insulate his property from noise and light.

Representatives for the developer declined to comment, but an attorney for ASC Development further assured Dillaman that, “There will be no impermissible noise.”

A final concern Dillaman raised was that the Supercenter will be built in the landing path for Grove City Regional Airport, located roughly a mile west of the shopping center.

He wanted to know whether the height of the building and street lighting would affect approaching planes’ ability to land safely. ASC’s attorney assured him that the airport’s proximity was taken into consideration when creating the plans, and said that the building would not interfere.

“Rick brings up some issues I see,” said supervisor Don Bonner prior to the supervisors’ decision. However, “We can only trust in the advice we have received. We’re not professionals.”

The township’s planning commission must review all plans for development, after which they decide to recommend approval to the supervisors. At a July 24 meeting, planning commission members reviewed the final plans and decided to recommend they be approved.

“The planning commission is thorough and I have a lot of confidence in them,” added supervisor and chairman Randall Magee.

“I feel confident we’ve been given the right advice,” Bonner added.

The subdivision and land development plans were approved pending some required modifications to scale and based upon several contingencies, including receipt of several permits, agreements and other documents.

Springfield Towne Centre will host primarily the roughly 183,000-square-foot, 24-hour Supercenter, and a smaller shadow retail center featuring several as-yet-unnamed tenant stores. ASC plans to have the center built and in business by the end of 2007.

Recommended for you