CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — The Chick-Fil-A once slated for construction on the corner of 32nd and Chestnut, now surrounded by controversy as new allegations outline an illegal conspiracy to block the popular restaurant chains development.
Community investor Mike Serluco, who says he dedicated over 50 years and invested millions into Central Pennsylvania’s communities has filed new court documents alleging the Camp Hill Borough Council violated his rights and acted in bad faith by conspiring against him to deny his company’s land development application.
The drawn-out debate began in late 2018 to early 2019 when residents voiced frustrations about increased traffic and pedestrian safety in what is a highly residential area. Following the outcry, the Camp Hill Borough council voted unanimously to deny plans for the restaurant’s construction.
An attorney for Consolidated Properties, Charles Courtney, alleged the deliberate misreads and misinterpretations of ordinances by the borough were an attempt to keep the developer from satisfying the law.
In January 2020, Consolidated Properties filed a land use appeal prompting a Cumberland County judge to uphold the Borough Council’s decision months later in October.
Finally, in mid-April 2021, the council voted unanimously to rezone the property, barring all restaurant construction from taking place in the lot whatsoever.
According to a press release from Consolidated Properties sent on July 14, 2021, Former Camp Hill Borough Manager Patrick Dennis allegedly confirmed the allegations of misconduct in a written affidavit which notes “there was no intention to work with or discuss fairly the issues with Serluco in good faith.”
“From the time of the illegal executive session until the denial of the Application by Borough Council in December 2019, Borough Council maintained its hidden agenda to challenge the Application and ensure its ultimate denial,” Dennis stated in his affidavit. “Further, to neutralize the Property and preclude its development as a restaurant with drive-thru service, Brough Council members further conspired to prepare and fast-track a zoning amendment that would preclude the construction of a drive-thru restaurant on the Property.
Serluco said the revelations contained in Dennis’s affidavit are deeply painful to him.
“I love Camp Hill, and I’ve dedicated most of my life to this area,” Serluco said. “I never dreamed I’d get railroaded by a borough council hell-bent on stifling economic progress at all costs — including breaking the law.”
“The people of Camp Hill deserve better, and I deserved a fair shake. I didn’t get it.”
Serluco is now requesting the Commonwealth Court remand the case to the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas for an appeal.