Newtown News of Interest
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Starbucks Takes Newtown Township to Court Contending that Township Supervisors' Vote Against Drive-thru Store in Shopping Center was "Arbitrary, Capricious, an Abuse of Discretion and Contrary to Law"

Starbucks Takes Newtown Township to Court Contending that Township Supervisors' Vote Against Drive-thru Store in Shopping Center was "Arbitrary, Capricious, an Abuse of Discretion and Contrary to Law" | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

Newtown Township denied conditional use approval last month for a new drive-through Starbucks in the Village at Newtown shopping center. Starbucks began fighting that rejection with an appeal to county court Tuesday.

A zoning dispute is brewing in Newtown Township over whether Starbucks can open a new location in the Village at Newtown shopping center.

The Newtown Township supervisors unanimously voted in May to reject the proposal for the coffee shop, and Starbucks appealed that decision in county court this week.

Ed Murphy, attorney for Starbucks, said in the appeal that the store satisfies “all objective standards and criteria” in township zoning and the supervisors’ vote to deny it was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law.”

The supervisors heard testimony in early May about Starbucks’ proposal — a 1,925-square-foot freestanding store off South Eagle Road with a drive-through window, indoor and outdoor seating — and whether to allow a drive-through eatery as a conditional use in a planned commercial district.

Supervisors called a vote to approve the Starbucks, but no board members answered “aye.” That vote was followed by a unanimous vote to reject the store. [Read "Newtown Board of Supervisors Shoots Down Drive-thru Starbucks"]

A township zoning decision issued in June also says Starbucks did not provide evidence of meeting seven conditional use requirements for a drive-through eatery, including access to a collector or arterial street, the presence of screened trash storage and a pedestrian walkway to the store’s entrance.

Newtown Township currently has a Starbucks in the ACME market off West Road, with another Starbucks off South State Street in nearby Newtown Borough, both within a mile of the proposed new site. Neither existing store has a drive-through window.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Definition of "abuse of discretion": A failure to take into proper consideration the facts and law relating to a particular matter. Newtown Township says: "The Board of Supervisors neither abused its discretion nor committed an error of law by denying the application."

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Newtown News of Interest
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