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Here's Where the Wawa on the Newtown Bypass Proposal Now Stands

Here's Where the Wawa on the Newtown Bypass Proposal Now Stands | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

[This is a summary of a Newtown Patch article. My comments appear in the green "insight'" section at the end.]

 

A new Wawa is still possible in Newtown, but for the time being, additional gas station-convenience store applications can not be submitted to the township (read "Municipal Cure" Cannot Prevent Developer From Putting a Wawa on the Bypass in Newtown Township; http://sco.lt/837RkO).

 

That's due to an amendment approved by the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors earlier this month. The municipal curative amendment will ensure no further applications for gas station-convenience stores come through until the zoning ordinance can be updated to include a use for such a business.

 

Currently, the jointure that governs Newtown Township's zoning doesn't have a gas station-convenience store use, which has caused a challenge to the current application filed by Wawa for its proposal off the Newtown Bypass.

 

During a supervisors meeting on Dec. 11, Newtown Township solicitor David Sander explained that state law mandates municipalities must have zoning for the combined use in its ordinance*. The jointure, which includes Wrightstown and Upper Makefield as well as Newtown Township, does not currently have such a use. [View video clip from Board of Supervisors discussion and decision regarding this action: https://youtu.be/XXojbIoyb9Q]

 

Participating municipalities are working to amend the ordinance to include the use, Sander explained. The process will protect the township, Sander said, noting permitted locations can be established across the jointure — not only in Newtown Township.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

When I questioned the process, Mr. Sander explained the procedure and the relevance, if any, to the Wawa application and the substantive legal challenge to the joint municipal zoning ordinance filed by Provco Pineville Acquisition LLC, the Wawa developer. View his response here: https://johnmacknewtown.info/municure.html

 

*Clarification

Regarding “state law mandates municipalities must have zoning for the combined use in its ordinance”… this question is still being actively litigated in PA and at least one township is fighting a similar zoning challenge.

 

"For example, Plumstead Township BOS appealed a similar type of zoning ruling to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. (Case # 455 CD 2019)," noted resident Mike Horbal in a comment to the article. "That case is currently awaiting a decision as it was just presented to judges on 12/12/2019."

 

"The outcome of the Plumstead case may carry substantial weight as to whether this new zoning use is truly a required zone that is not provided for in the current joint municipal zoning ordinance (JMZO)," according to Horbal.

 

"The law firm is the same for both the Plumstead and Newtown developers, and is also the same law firm for the developers of the Arcadia development project in Newtown," said Horbal.

 

 

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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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