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Residents Challenge “Use By Right” Application That Would  Allow a New Wawa in Holland PA Without a Hearing by the Northampton Supervisors

Residents Challenge “Use By Right” Application That Would  Allow a New Wawa in Holland PA Without a Hearing by the Northampton Supervisors | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

A group of residents could force a proposed Wawa with gas pumps to seek approval from Northampton supervisors, if the zoning board agrees with them Monday.

 

The zoning board will hear from multiple residents appealing a February 2020 decision by the township’s zoning officer allowing the store as a byright use, which could result in developer Provco Pinegood Northampton needing conditional use approval by Northampton supervisors.

 

The developer proposed plans for a 5,585-square-foot store with eight fueling stations at the 2.5-acre parcel at the intersection of Holland, Rocksville and Buck roads.

 

Some residents are claiming Northampton officials aren't following the right course in their consideration of a proposed Wawa with gas pumps. The parcel is across from an existing Wawa, on the site of an existing Shell gas station.

 

The township's zoning officer approved the store’s development application as a byright use in the C-2 Commercial Overlay zoning district near an area of the township known as Holland.

 

The appeal filed by New Castle attorney Christopher Papa argues the proposed store actually meets the requirements in the township’s zoning ordinance for a conditional use hearing by the supervisors.

 

The township permits a retail store use with accessory fuel pumps, but the neighbors say the gas is the primary driver of the business and retail should be considered the accessory use.

 

A Change.org petition created almost a year ago is currently up to 1,335 signatures as of Friday at noon. [Find the petition here]

 

Papa said Friday he doesn’t expect the zoning hearing to last multiple meetings. A ruling in favor of his clients wouldn't mean the end of the Wawa, but it would move it to

 

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Currently, the plan will be considered by the Northampton Township Planning Commission on Tuesday, April 13th at 7:30 PM via Zoom. The zoom login information is as follows. . .

 

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85389983356 

Webinar ID: 853 8998 3356

 

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This story is of interest to Newtown residents because Provco also submitted an application to build a Wawa on Newtown Bypass (read “Provco officially submits zoning application to bring a Super Wawa to the bypass in Newtown Township”; http://sco.lt/9FwqKe). That application ALSO bypasses the township’s Board of Supervisors (BOS) because it is considered a “special exception” E-30 use, which means it goes to the Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB).

 

Wawa is asking for “variances”: Whereas, the E-30 use limits the number of gas pumps to 12, Wawa is asking for 18. And whereas it prohibits signs on the Bypass, Wawa is asking for big signs not only on the Bypass but facing the Bypass from its site. Newtown does not allow signs within 1,000 feet of the Bypass to face the Bypass - Wawa wants that. Newtown does not allow electronic signs, by Wawa wants that.

 

The BOS is a party to every case that comes before the ZHB and, IMHO, should oppose this application on the grounds that Wawa is asking for variances in the zoning that we prefer it not get (as mentioned above). That means sending our solicitor to the meeting. I would put that motion forward, but I doubt that the BOS would vote to do that.

 

Related Content:

 

  • “Wawa “Gotta” Be Everywhere in Bucks County, Especially in the Newtown Area!”; http://sco.lt/94BpY0
  • “You get a Wawa! You get a Wawa! You get a Wawa! Everybody Gets a Wawa! Wawa's Plan for Newtown Area Domination.”; http://sco.lt/6MDY3c
  • “A Zoning Change Would Allow for Drive-thru Wawa on Lincoln Highway in Falls”; http://sco.lt/8YkHr6
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