East Hempfield seeks sign info
For Spooky Nook Sports Complex BY DAVID O'CONNOR, Staff Writer
Because businesses need them but neighbors don't always want them, "signs are never easy" to tackle, one East Hempfield Township official conceded.
Representatives of the township's Spooky Nook Sports Complex are promising neighbors and officials that their proposed signs at the 64-acre site will be arranged in such a way that they won't intrude on nearby residents.
And Sam Beiler, the developer of the $26 million project on Spooky Nook Drive, has earned praise from East Hempfield officials for his willingness to be a good neighbor.
But township zoning officials said last Monday that they want more specifics on the Nook Sports facility's signs before they vote on a request to approve them.
Among other things, the zoners would like an overall site plan showing where the developers want to place the signs. And they also would like a "visual" package of what the proposed signs might look like.
So the zoners tabled a sign request from the sports complex until next month's meeting, which will held at 7 p.m. May 14 in the East Hempfield municipal building.
The sports facility -- an idled distribution center that's expected to be the nation's largest indoor sports complex -- already has hosted events, but has yet to schedule a grand opening.
The facility is inside a triangle bounded by Spooky Nook Road to the north, Landisville Road to the east and Champ Boulevard, which straddles Route 283, to the south.
The facility is seeking approval to install signs exceeding township standards. It wants to place two signs, each measuring 780 square feet, on the southern and western sides of the facility. East Hempfield zoning allows for 100-square-foot signs.
The facility also wants to install a 450-square-foot identification sign over the main entrance, larger than the 200 square feet allowed, and to have up to 450 square feet of future signage, as identifying signs for future tenants of the facility once those tenants are identified.
The signs would point away from residences on Spooky Nook and would be "oriented" southward toward Champ Boulevard and traffic coming off Route 283 to get to the facility.
Nook Sports representative Angela Allison of the firm Fastsigns spelled out the facility's need for the extra building signage at last Monday's meeting.
The signs are needed, Allison said, so that people from outside this area know specifically where the facility is and aren't turning around in neighbors' driveways after missing it.
"And as a mom (of a soccer player), I know that you will turn around the quickest way possible" to get back to the right place, she said, and she would like to avoid that near Nook Sports.
But a neighbor, retired East Hempfield Manager George Marcinko, expressed concerns.
"This is a fantastic project," Marcinko said, but added that he would have liked to have had Beiler or another top person there last Monday to answer questions on the project.
Spooky Nook officials are expected to join sign Allison at the May 14 meeting.
Allison emphasized that "this is a fantastic thing for the township, having something of this size," a project that will put East Hempfield on the map with sports officials and will bring in much-needed tax revenue for the suburb.
Spooky Nook Sports Complex is to open at the former Armstrong World Industries distribution center. It will feature soccer, tennis and lacrosse tournaments, basketball and football games, physical therapy appointments and exercise workouts.