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David J. Tshudy, of counsel in the Real Estate Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton, was quoted in the July 11, 2019 TheBurg article, "Autozone Project Creeps Forward, Despite Continuing Disputes over Design, Traffic."
David Tshudy of Pepper Hamilton, the law firm representing AutoZone, repeatedly pushed back on the requested changes to the company’s design, saying that city planners have no role in design decisions based on Harrisburg’s current land use ordinances.
“There’s nothing in the ordinance that requires the building to be situated any differently than what is shown on the plan,” Tshudy said. “The building is best where it is shown on the plan.”
In April, the two sides held a meeting to iron out their differences. Tshudy said that he left that meeting believing they had agreed to retain the access point, but only for right turns in and out. City officials disagreed.
Tshudy said that an AutoZone traffic study confirmed the safety of the design for vehicles and pedestrians, but city Engineer Wayne Martin criticized the traffic impact study as insufficient.
Once more, Tshudy insisted the AutoZone followed all the city’s ordinances and would be reluctant to make any changes because, he said, they’re not mandated to do so by law.
“Again, there is nothing in the ordinance that would prohibit the 7th Street access,” he said. “In fact, the 7th Street access was originally designed to be a full-service access. A traffic study supported that that would be safe, a traffic study prepared on behalf of AutoZone. In order to extend an olive branch, we offered to have right-in, right-out only.”
“This is a difficult project,” Tshudy said, following the vote. “We clearly understand your concerns, and we’ll try to work as best we can with the city staff to address the concerns that are embodied in the conditions.”