Proposed grocery store denied in Marshall

Supervisors denied a request by Giant Eagle to rezone property abutting Franklin Park to allow the grocer.

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Plans for a Giant Eagle grocery store in Marshall behind the Eat'n Park in the Franklin Village Shopping Center were squashed Monday night by a unanimous vote of supervisors.

Board members voted in front of a full audience to deny a request by the grocer to change the zoning from suburban residential to planned office, research and business park.

The planning commission had recommended approving Giant Eagle's request for a store adjacent to the intersection of Route 910 and Mingo Road.

Supervisors said fears of traffic congestion and concern about changing the character of the residential neighborhood were reasons for their action.

Residents who filled the meeting room were not given an opportunity to speak on the issue, but one woman said this kind of piecemeal zoning would affect the area negatively.

Supervisor Philip Troy echoed residents' concerns about piecemeal zoning and commented that he was opposed to development in that area.

Considering that the area abuts Franklin Park, Supervisor Richard Scavo added, "I'm not about to approve lot-by-lot rezoning, because there's no limit to the type of business that can go into it. I prefer that we work in concert with adjoining townships."

"The supervisors' vote effectively stops any commercial development in that area," said township manager Neil McFadden.

The issue was publicized with notices about the meeting time and date printed on neon-colored paper signs, one of which was posted on the door of T-Bone's Marketplace, a grocer on Route 910 at VIP Drive, a short distance from the Giant Eagle's proposed site.

Also during the meeting, supervisors held a public hearing regarding a proposed 125-unit townhouse development on 15.7 acres at the end of Northgate Drive in the Town Center Zoning District, called Park at Marshall.

Zoning Officer Nicole Zimsky said the town houses are proposed as rental units, but may be sold as part of a condominium.

"More than 7 acres [of the project] are dedicated for open space," she said. "The developer is also extending Northgate Drive to connect with Route 19 as part of this project."

Jill Cueni-Cohen, freelance writer:

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