Business acquires former church in Greencastle, wants new parking entrance

A former church on East Baltimore Street will be used for professional purposes. The owners would like to open up the curb for a driveway, but the Greencastle Public Safety Committee has reservations about the idea.

Shippensburg Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine asked the Borough of Greencastle for a new access to its property at 145 E. Baltimore St. The business plans to use the 1928 brick church for another branch of its facility. 

The Public Safety Committee discussed the request at its Feb. 24 meeting. Borough manager Susan Armstrong said Chris Zentz had asked for an “entrance only” from Route 16 into the parking lot. Currently the lot is only accessible from the alley. He was also contacting PennDOT for permission.

Committee members Craig Myers and Duane Kinzer, along with mayor Bob Eberly and council president Frank Webster Jr., considered the effect on traffic and downtown parking. Charles Eckstine was absent. 

An entrance would take away one or two parking spaces on the busy street, they determined.

Police chief John Phillippy was concerned about how vehicles turning in would affect the traffic flow. Those coming from the west would not have much of an impact, but vehicles from the east could cause a backup as they waited to turn left, and the line could block the Allison Street intersection.

“It looks like a recipe for a problem,” he said.

The committee thought the professional office space might be better served if the alley entrance to the parking lot was fixed up.

A citizen had last year asked for a restriction on the truck use of loud compression brakes in town. The borough had visited the issue in 2014, and has not received any complaints this year.

Armstrong said the borough could not restrict the use of the brakes, but PennDOT could. Greencastle would have to pay for signs announcing the ban, but according to the borough solicitor, they had to be placed on all arterial roads as well as the main ones of Baltimore Street and Antrim Way. That would mean 18 at the cost of $135 each.

With the improvements in truck braking systems, the “jake brake” was not as common, the members agreed. They also realized the noisy brakes were sometimes needed for safety.

Armstrong will continue to gather information, but also asked, “If you have the ordinance in place, how do you enforce it?”