Camp Hill appears to be one step closer to allowing Chick-fil-A to build a restaurant on a busy part of Route 15.
But it’s coming at a cost, at least for Allie Samsel.
“It is crazy. Who wants to retire to this?” she said, pointing to a congested Chestnut Street in front of her home.
The issue of a proposed Chick-fil-A at the corner of 32nd and Chestnut streets has become so frustrating and overwhelming for her, she’s begun packing up her belongings and plans to move out of state.
“I’ve been here 32 years, so it’s a lot of stuff,” Samsel said, adding she no longer feels valued as a resident. “I always thought we just took care of each other, and I don’t feel that anymore.”
She’s referring to what she describes as a lack of transparency, communication and willingness to listen on behalf of borough council members.
Samsel joined a packed house at Wednesday’s borough meeting to discuss the proposed new restaurant.
Many others were also concerned their voices aren’t being heard.
“I would ask for this council to continue to improve public engagement,” said Jennifer Hoover.
“Outside interests, they are interests … but they should be secondary, tertiary,” one man said.
Consolidated Properties, of Wormleysburg, submitted their final plans to the borough last month, along with a traffic study.
That study found the potential Chick-fil-A would generate 46 new trips during weekday AM peak hours, 142 new trips for PM peak hours, and 253 new trips around peak lunch hours on Saturday.
Those are numbers that Samsel believes Camp Hill can’t absorb.
“Can we put a parade down the center of Chestnut Street every day? Would that make people happy?” she said.
The proposed 5,031 square foot restaurant will have 106 seats, an interior child play area, dual drive-thru lanes, and meal order/delivery canopies.
Fifty-seven parking spaces are planned for the restaurant which is estimated will employ about 80 people. The location would be open from 6:30 a.m. until 10.p.m, Monday through Saturday and would be closed on Sundays.
As part of the plans, six continuous homes will be knocked down to make way for the new build; narrow alleys behind those homes, are being proposed to be used as entrances and exits.
For Samsel, though, her exit isn’t what she wanted.
“Very disappointed in my town, very disappointed in my town.”
The revised final plans provide improvements to stormwater runoff rates, as well as enhanced pedestrian access and fencing between the restaurant and neighboring homes.
The plans go before the borough planning commission on Tuesday, March 19.