Planning commission approves land use for steakhouse, mattress store

The Lycoming County Planning Commission unanimously approved – with conditions – the land subdivision and land development plans for a LongHorn Steakhouse and Mattress Warehouse at the Lycoming Mall.

The businesses should be open in spring 2014, said mall General Manager Bryan Hovancik, and will be on the same lot as Toys “R” Us.

To make room for the development, and as part of the third phase of mall developments, the Best Buy one-way exit road will be moved closer to the round-about, said county Subdivision and Land Development Administrator Josh Billings.

Part of the conditions approved were suggested by member Chris Keiser – a 100-foot-long extension of the existing guardrail near McDonald’s, along with some sort of headlight buffer as the road narrows, its length and exact location to be determined by the traffic engineer.

Executive Director Kurt Hausammann said his main concern, that traffic would back up due to the additional development, has been assuaged because the traffic study has shown that won’t be the case.

Additionally, the mall parking lot curb across from the Toys “R” U’s plaza will be closed for safety purposes. Billings said hardly any traffic uses it.

Mattress Warehouse will be 6,000 square feet and LongHorn Steakhouse 6,280 square feet.

The development will have one access point from the existing mall ring road and share the western parking lot/Best Buy exit road intersection.

There are existing sewer, water and utility easements surrounding the property. The Lycoming Water and Sewer Authority will provide public water and sewer service, Billings said.

The commission also gave final approval with conditions to NFG Midstream Trout Run LLC’s land development plan for a natural gas compressor station on DCNR-owned land along Bodine Mountain Road on Bodine Mountain, McIntyre Township.

Normally, there’s just one building, but this plan proposes a gas compressor station containing six compressor buildings and other compressor station equipment, Billings said.

Mike Ogden, of Rettew Associates Inc., said there are safety advantages to having the individual buildings, and although it will be aggregately more noisy than just one building, it will still meet noise regulations.

The station will use an existing gas pipeline that runs near the development site.

The commission approved a zoning ordinance amendment that adjusts certain accessory building spacing on a lot from 20 feet to 5 feet. In a rural setting, the well on a site is an obstacle to locating an accessory building of a garage at the 20-foot distance, said Cliff Kanz, development services supervisor. Plus, in some places, a 20-foot distance is no longer valid due to building codes when applicable for fire separation.

The request will be forwarded to the county commissioners for public hearing and enactment.