Township meeting covers zoning for proposed York County sports complex

Turnout was light for a public hearing on a proposed sports complex in York County, but some residents who attended said they were worried about the development’s impact on traffic and property values.

About 25 people attended a public hearing held Wednesday night by Manchester Township supervisors. The subject was proposed zoning changes that could pave the way for a large sports complex in the community.

A handful of people who live near the most-discussed site spoke out against what they said would be the complex’s impact on their traffic and home values.

The proposed change would allow for a “community commercial sports facility” in Manchester Township’s five office and high-density residential zones.

While no specific location for the complex has been named by the developers, Rutter’s Properties LP of York, an “example location” has been given by the developers for the west side of Susquehanna Trail, just south of First Assembly of God Church.

The example also showed a building some 90,000 square feet in size, with an air-supported dome structure 80 feet high.

No decision was made Wednesday by the township supervisors, who plan to decide on the proposed zoning revision when they meet Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. at the township building at 3200 Farmtrail Road.

At Wednesday’s session, resident Edward Smyser of Village Circle East said when he “heard about this building going up here, I couldn’t believe my ears.

“I thought, there is no zoning ordinance that would ever allow them to put an 85-foot-high building out here,” Smyser said, adding that residents “have enough of a problem as it is getting out of our complex onto the road out here.”

One of the principals of Rutter’s Properties, Chad Rutter, was present for Wednesday’s public hearing. He declined to speak to a reporter after the session.

York attorney Gavin Markey, who represents the developers, told the residents that the developers are, in fact, developing a plan that takes their concerns into account.

“We want the residents to know that with the cooperation of the township, their representatives and their in-house staff, we crafted and created provisions that take into account the multiple concerns the surrounding residents had expressed,” Markey said afterward.

Even though the Susquehanna Trail location has drawn attention as a possible site, Markey also emphasized that multiple sites for the complex are still under consideration.

Stewart Olewiler III, Manchester Township’s zoning/planning officer, outlined the proposed zoning law that would allow for the sports complex during Wednesday’s hearing.

In response to concerns raised by neighbors, Olewiler said, the current proposal for the complex has been revised to lessen the impact on nearby areas.

For example, outdoor public-address systems will not be allowed, and the cutoff point for allowing outdoor lights to remain on each evening has been moved from 10 p.m. up to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

David O'Connor
Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at doconnor@cpbj.com.

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