Newtown Residents Concerned About Trees in Shopping Center | Newtown News of Interest |

Joni Mitchell says in her 70s pop hit “Big Yellow Tax,” “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. With a pink hotel, a boutique and a swinging hot spot.”

In Newtown Township, they’re putting the trees in a museum to put up a coffee shop, however.

While Starbucks just recently received approval from the township supervisors to operate a free-standing restaurant and drive-through at the Village at Newtown shopping center, residents were surprised recently to see a group of trees removed near the site of the proposed coffee shop in the 2800 block of Eagle Road.

“I’m crying over the trees; I really am,” said Tina Cameron, of Tyler Walk, during public comments made at the July 11 supervisors meeting. “Seeing all those trees cut down definitely brought this to light." [See a video of her comments here.]

At its May 9 meeting ... the current board voted 5-0 to deny the coffee company a use permit to grant it permission to operate a nearly 2,000-square-foot Starbucks with a drive-through at a location that sits adjacent to Bank of America.

The coffee company followed with a lawsuit against the township, however. Facing legal implications and expense, the board, at its June 27 meeting, decided – by a 4-1 margin – that it was in its best interest to reverse tide and grant Starbucks its use permit.”

“We didn’t have the upper hand here. The development project had already been approved,” said board Chairman Phil Calabro.

“They had the right to build it so there was no way we could stop them. If it was taken to court, it would have probably gone against us.”

“The way that that looks now is not at all the way that it’s going to look,” said outgoing Township Manager Kurt Ferguson. “Could they have moved the driveway and saved the trees? Possibly, except they have minimum parking requirements that they had to meet.”