Lower Southampton - Another Township Considering Zoning Variances to Allow a Super Wawa Gas Station/Convenience Store | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

A Lower Southampton zoning hearing for the proposed 16-pump gas station at Bristol and Brownsville roads ran late and will continue on Oct. 29.


Lower Southampton neighbors of a proposed 16-pump Wawa gas station will have to wait until at least the end of the month to know if the zoning board will give the plan a thumbs up.


Any gas station use in that area requires a special exception by the township’s zoning hearing board under the township’s ordinances, which could include certain conditions on the developer if granted.


Wednesday night was the first of what will likely become a series of zoning hearings, with about 60 people packing the meeting room at 1500 Desire Ave. and some heard murmuring out in the hall.


Only one witness was able to complete testimony and cross examination by the zoning board and other parties over the course of the three-hour meeting, and at least two more witnesses are expected to be called.


The civil engineer from Boehler Engineering, of Chalfont, generally testified the Wawa was similar to other uses in the area and would not adversely affect the area.


Julie Von Spreckelsen, an Eastburn & Gray attorney representing the developer, said her next witness would be a Wawa representative and then a traffic engineer.


Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor Tom Panzer mentioned the township itself did not send a solicitor to oppose the application.


A municipality sending its attorney to zoning hearing doesn’t typically happen unless the local governing board intends to fight the application.


Plumstead officials sent an attorney to fight a proposed Wawa at the intersection of state Route 313 and Ferry Road that was challenging the township’s zoning laws.


The Plumstead Wawa case began with the zoning hearing board early 2017, and is still fighting an appeal in the state appellate courts that would allow the gas station. [Read “Developer Wants Plumstead to Change Its Zoning to Allow More Gas Pumps to Fit the Business Plan of a Super Wawa - A Lesson for Newtown”.


A solicitor can be sent to observe a hearing as well, and a township isn’t waiving its rights to appeal the zoning board’s decision by not sending its own attorney to actively participate now.


Bucks County towns will often file appeals against their own zoning boards if elected officials think the quasi-judicious board made a mistake in its ruling.


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