Newtown News of Interest
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Path Forward Nebulous for Newtown Township Wawa

Path Forward Nebulous for Newtown Township Wawa | Newtown News of Interest |

Newtown Township planners say a developer has work to do before it can proceed with plans to build a Wawa with gas pumps off Newtown Bypass.


The township planning commission recommended at its meeting Tuesday evening that attorneys for the township and the Provco Group revisit a draft zoning amendment, which the developer had authored to permit the Wawa where the bypass intersects with Lower Silver Lake Road.


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The amendment would create a new “motor vehicle fueling station” use under the Newtown Area Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance, with specifications such stations must meet to be permitted within the ordinance’s office research district. Standalone convenience stores and gas stations currently are not allowed in that district, where the 5,585-square foot Wawa with 16 fueling stations is proposed.


The Newtown Area Zoning Jointure also includes Upper Makefield and Wrightstown. Planning commission Chairman Allen Fidler said, because neither township has an office research district, both likely will approve Provco’s proposed amendment if Newtown Township does so first.


Before any vote on the amendment, planners said Provco needs to return to the commission after revising aspects of the draft. The specifics of the amendment are of key importance, in that they could have long-term ramifications for future development along Newtown Bypass, commission members agreed.


For example, the township could be seen as creating an uneven playing field if it were to give Wawa leeway to install LED signage after turning down similar requests from previous developers, planners said.


In addition, an allowance for the chain to remain open 24 hours could create potential for crime after hours, commission members said.


A majority of the approximately 15 residents in attendance spoke out in opposition to the Wawa.

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Newtown News of Interest
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