The Eaton Township supervisors granted a conditional use permit last Wednesday for Aldi’s which is interested in constructing a grocery store in the old WalMart parking lot.
Solicitor Paul Litwin shared the ground rules, then provided an opportunity for Justin Geonotti, a principal of Dynamic Engineering, to share an overview of the 19,054-square foot facility that would be sited at 809 Hunter Highway on 1.96 acres on the west side of Rt. 29 between the traffic light and the Wyoming County Human Services Building.
Geonotti said the supervisors requested a left turn lane on Rt. 29 coming from the South at the entrance to the current Walmart.
He requested a traffic study from PennDOT and discovered that the numbers PennDOT came up with did not warrant such a lane, noting the threshold for turns would be at 50,000.
“You’re at 11,000, and they won’t consider that,” he said.
Geonotti said Aldi’s was committed to put up shrubs that would block headlights from beaming over to Hunter Highway while in the Aldi’s parking lot.
The supervisors requested extending a sidewalk from the intersection landing over to the store, and it was the only matter that anyone in the public also was interested in with former supervisor Randy Ehrenzeller speaking to safety concerns for people who might make the walk along Hunter Highway.
Rory Garr, director of real estate for Aldi’s, spoke briefly to the sidewalk and said the addition of a sidewalk would materially change the original plan, forcing a delay of probably at least three months, which he was not in favor of.
Ken White, Paul Rowker and Abe Kukuchka deliberated in a separate office and came back 10 minutes later.
They tried to convince Geonotti and Garr to budge on the sidewalk, but Garr said the company was hoping to begin construction in June, and given the absence of other facilities nearest to the site really hadn’t considered it in the original plan.
Supervisor Rowker said that they were looking at future development.
Supervisor Kukuchka said he sincerely believed the sidewalk should be built, “But we should have told you that in November.”
He acknowledged he wasn’t on the supervisors then.
Supervisor White said he did not wish to hold the project up and in the end got the concurrence of the other two.