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Wawa’s Suburban Focus - Including Holland & #NewtownPA - Is Getting Pushback From neighbors

Wawa’s Suburban Focus - Including Holland & #NewtownPA - Is Getting Pushback From neighbors | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

[Philadelphia] Mayor Jim Kenney said last week that it was not a “bad omen” for crime-rattled Philadelphia that Wawa was closing two Center City stores. “We’re really happy with our relationship with Wawa,” the city’s top elected official said.

In Bucks County, where the chain has proposed a Super Wawa with 60 parking spaces and 16 gas pumps, residents had less positive things to say.

The store will “destroy Holland as we know it,” said Pam Duffey, 59, who was leaving a court hearing in Doylestown over the proposal. The Super Wawa would be on 6½ acres near her home, in an area with two-lane country roads. “Holland will never be the same.”

Duffey’s son Brett, 20, a college student, said that if the proposal goes through, “the centerpiece of Holland will be an industrial-sized gas station.”

Shutdowns in Center City

Citing concerns over crime, Wawa said last Thursday that it was closing its stores at 12th and Market and at 19th and Market in Philadelphia. 

Suburbanites push back on Wawa expansion

The fight over a new Super Wawa in Holland, which is part of Northampton Township, is among the most recent flare-ups between the company and local residents in the Pennsylvania suburbs and South Jersey.

Residents also are pushing back on a proposed Super Wawa in Newtown Township, a few miles from the one proposed in Holland, and on one proposed for the Barclay Farm section of Cherry Hill.

Bradley Cooper, a Newtown resident (and, no, not the Hollywood actor), said that Wawa “is taking over so many areas.” Newtown Township should support small businesses, he said.

“We always work to follow the processes set forth by local municipalities on new development and community reinvestment,” Bruce said in response to questions about the proposed Holland Super Wawa. “As a proud member of this community for more than a half-century, we believe in working with our friends and neighbors to develop a store that is a true asset to the community.”

 

It's Not Fine Dining; It's a Gas Station!

Christopher Papa, a New Castle, Pa., lawyer who represents Holland residents opposing the Wawa proposal, said that with a Super Wawa store, the convenience chain “is going for the gas. It’s not fine dining.”

According to court documents, Northampton Township’s zoning officer concluded that the gas-fueling part of the proposed Super Wawa complex did not constitute a gas station but part of the 24-hour retail convenience store that sold non-fuel merchandise and could be built there under the current zoning.

Residents appealed the decision and are awaiting a decision from Bucks County Common Pleas Judge Denise M. Bowman, who heard the latest arguments on Monday.

 

johnmacknewtown's insight:

 

Recently, there have been several robberies at local Wawa’s. As one resident said on Facebook: “The more I think about it, still can’t believe a robbery point of gun occurred in our township at a Wawa, and the township/county may expand the presence of Wawa - closer to homes than any other gas station w/ convenience store in our township (see below). Officials have seemed to learn nothing from places like Philadelphia.”

 

“Approving a WAWA at this Newtown intersection is an invitation for crime to be at our doorstep,” said Malaine Reed, a resident of Wiltshire Walk, in an email to supervisors.

 

When this plan was first presented to the public at a May 14, 2018, BOS meeting, Michael Cooley, Vice President of Real Estate for Provco Group, understood the Board's concern regarding increased crime due to the 24/7 retail fuel operation is close to major highways. He indicated that the site would be monitored by a full camera security system and that a close relationship with police would be developed.”

 

I am not sure what Mr. Cooley meant by a “close relationship with police,” but I suspect the police would have to increase patrols in the area drawing them away from the center of town.

 

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Newtown News of Interest
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