A request for a flood plain ordinance variance by Pleasant Gap lime supplier Graymont was denied during a zoning board hearing Thursday.
Graymont requested the variance based on a plan to create a new driveway to the facility by crossing the flood plain known as the “Phantom Lake” and connecting to Garbrick Road.
The entrance to Graymont now connects to East College Avenue. Materials health and safety manager John Maitland said his company wants to improve safety by developing a new entrance to the property and eliminating the College Avenue entrance. Instead of exiting onto an inclined road, trucks would be able to enter College via Garbrick, which provides a flatter area for acceleration.
“We want to make sure we’re looking for opportunities to minimize risk not only to people in Graymont, but everybody that uses Route 64,” Maitland said.
Township resident Bryan Goodrow said he thinks the nearby Feidler Road would be a better entrance point as residents of the area use Garbrick as their main route into Bellefonte.
Board Chairman Ralph Shilling agreed, saying residents wouldn’t want trucks going up that road. He also noted that increased traffic would likely send residents over to Walker Township, congesting the barely two-car-wide Cemetery Lane.
Shilling cited the permitted uses for a flood plain, including horticulture, conservation and parks and recreation. All new construction on a flood plain is prohibited, including “filling in of the flood plain.”
“Based on this meeting, we’re going to have to have a meeting to figure out our next steps,” Maitland said following the hearing adjournment.