A change in plans to build hundreds of self-catering storage units won approval Tuesday from Cumberland town supervisors.
After a public hearing lasting approximately 40 minutes, a board unanimously granted conditional use of a site at 95 Solomon Street. Approval is required because the site is near the intersection of US Route 15 with Taneytown Road (Pa. Route 134) located in the Village Mixed-Use Zoning District.
Owner James Knefly received a similar approval last June, but has since changed his plans to build the units on the south side of the road rather than on both sides.
“The plan has been modified,” said John Murphy, Knefly’s attorney. Murphy said Knefly reserves the right to build on the north side in the future.
The vote came after a public hearing in which Linda and Donald Yingling expressed concerns about how the Knefly Project would affect their property. They manage about 47 storage units and have several rental homes on a private road off Tannytown Road.
Knefly, of Ulysses, Pennsylvania, said he’s owned the site since 1973 and is a semi-retired operator for businesses that include a ski area.
He said he plans to build 13 single-story buildings as well as an outdoor RV storage, down from 20 previously. Building lengths will vary, Knifely said, with a maximum of 300 feet, resulting in as many as 980 storage units.
Knefly said the units would have no electricity or sewage connections, and fuel would have to be drained from the vehicles and their batteries taken out to be stored indoors.
He said customers will enter the fully fenced facility via a code hole at the gate, but that access will only be available from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., with motion-sensing lights and cameras to provide security.
Linda Yingling said she was “worried” that there was no one on site to deal with any problems. Having someone available within a reasonable distance would be resolved, Knefly said.
She also expressed concern about opening hours, but town attorney Sam Wesser said those Knefly planned were in accordance with the law.
Knefly estimated that the facility would be 150 to 200 feet from Knifely’s homes.
Donald Yingling said his units were about 100 feet from homes. He also said that there is no easement or right of way through his property.
The moderators closed the plenary and held their regular meeting before the vote.
Wasser said the council has 45 days to issue a written decision, after which opponents will have 30 days to appeal.
Wesser said the project still had to move through the normal land development process, including review by township and Adams County planning committees and a vote by supervisors.
• For more information, supervisors delayed action on a request from the Adams County Tax Claims Office to approve the sale of property at 2664 Emmitsburg Road to the Adams County Industrial Redevelopment Authority (ACIDA). Such sales must be approved by the affected tax authorities, Wiser said. Audience members who identified themselves as Thomas Coast and James Halkies told the board that they had bid on ACIDA. Wasser said the county is not obligated to sell to the highest bidder, but has discretion to consider other factors in the public interest such as pollution mitigation requirements for abandoned field sites.
• By unanimous vote, supervisors approved a request for bids to rebuild ponds on the Longview and Twin Lakes West projects, in collaboration with homeowners’ associations, as part of plans to comply with mandates for separate federal sewer systems for municipalities.
• At the request of the Town Planning Commission, Supervisors commissioned Wiser to work with that body to review current requirements for fencing to provide a buffer between certain zoning areas. Weiser said planners have indicated aesthetic and maintenance concerns about current requirements for a six-foot-tall wooden fence.
• Supervisors thanked District Manager Ben Thomas after learning that the Pennsylvania Department of Economic and Social Development had awarded the town a $10,000 grant to facilitate a comprehensive zoning review.
• Filling a vacancy, supervisors have appointed Jeffrey Yingling to the Agricultural Security District Advisory Committee.
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