Waynesboro blighted property project inches forward

CHAMBERSBURG — Plans for future improvement of two blighted properties in the Borough of Waynesboro remain underway despite history slowing them down.

Last year, Luminest Community Development announced plans to purchase blighted properties at 242-244 and 246 W. Second St. next to Renaissance Place. The properties, owned by the Borough of Waynesboro, had been left blighted and out of compliance with borough codes.

Due to the dilapidated condition, Luminest planned to raze the buildings earlier this year and construct new homes, however history got in the way.

“It turns out these buildings are in Waynesboro’s Historic District,” explained Nicole Boling, senior planner for Franklin County.

Boling said Luminest, borough, county and state Historical Preservation Office officials have spent the past several months working together to respectfully put the past behind them and focus on future plans.

“We went through a very long process of review,” Boiling said. “The homes are in terrible condition and very dangerous.”

After review, the groups have come to an agreement on plans for the properties and, after county and environmental reviews, the project is expected to move forward.

On Wednesday, Franklin County Commissioners endorsed the project.

“These are blighted properties,” agreed Commissioner Dave Keller. “[They just] ask that new construction blend with the character of the neighborhood.”

When built, the homes are expected to appraise for around $150,00 and could be sold to qualifying homeowners, thanks to grant funding.

“Right now, the properties are dangerous,” Boling said. “I think it will greatly improve the neighborhood.”