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Hotel planned in South Middleton Township

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A developer has plans for a 90-room hotel off Westminster Drive in South Middleton Township.

The three-story hotel would be on a six-acre tract of undeveloped land. Township supervisors received the plans this week and plan a public hearing March 27.

"It seems to fit the zoning, which is general commercial," Supervisor Tom Faley said. "In that zone, hotels are allowed as a conditional use. However, it's in the airport hazard zone of Carlisle Airport."

That means the developer, Carlisle Investment Properties, will need to get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Transportation. The FAA limits building heights around airports to create a "safety zone" for pilots, said Supervisor Bryan Gembusia.

William "Doc" Kronenberg, former mayor of Carlisle, is among the partners who own the land. He said negotiations are ongoing with a major national hotel chain that he declined to name.

"We feel it will enhance South Middleton Township and bring some good tax base to the township," he said this morning.

The property is adjacent to Interstate 81 and Route 74 in an area that has seen heavy development over the past decade. Carlisle Crossing shopping center opened with Kohl's department store in 2005. It was followed by Target, Pier 1 Imports, Old Navy, PetSmart and other tenants a year later.

In July 2007, a Rite Aid drugstore opened at the Route 74 entrance to the shopping center. If approved, the hotel would be within walking distance of the entire area.

The property is also within the "exceptional value" portion of nearby LeTort Spring Run, Faley said. The designation requires owners to get approval from the Department of Environmental Protection for a National Pollution and Discharge Elimination System.

Traffic is another issue in the area, Faley said.

"I'm concerned," he said. "I think they need a more detailed traffic study that includes the unique characteristics of the affected intersections."

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