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Wawa Coming To #NewtownPA Township After Three Supervisors Approve Settlement Agreement

Wawa Coming To #NewtownPA Township After Three Supervisors Approve Settlement Agreement | Newtown News of Interest |

A years-long battle to put a Wawa in Newtown Township has ended on the side of Wawa.

The township board of supervisors voted 3-2 at its Wednesday night meeting to approve a settlement agreement that ends all litigation between the township and the project’s developer, Provco Pinegood Newtown LLC, and clears the way for the 5,585 square-foot store with fuel dispensers on a 4.95-acre property at the corner of the Newtown Bypass and Lower Silver Lake Road.

Before the vote, township Solicitor David Sander explained that the settlement will end a validity challenge filed by Provco to provisions of the joint municipal zoning ordinance that governs zoning for Newtown, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown townships. Those provisions do not allow eight fuel dispensers – the number proposed by the developer – or the types of signs Provco wanted to put up. The township zoning hearing board had held a series of hearings on the validity challenge and another had been scheduled for June 27.

The settlement also ends litigation pending in Bucks County Court of Commons Pleas on the ZHB’s denial of fuel dispenser and sign variances, and the supervisors’ denial of land development approval for the project. In addition, the agreement reduces and simplifies the signage Provco had been proposing and also limits the number of fuel dispensers to a maximum of six.

By virtue of the settlement, Provco will also install six electric vehicle charging stations with two plug-ins each that will be available for public use. The developer will also put up solar panels to help power the new Wawa, Sander explained.

Supervisors’ Chairman Dennis Fisher voted in favor of the settlement agreement along with fellow board members Phil Calabro and Elen Snyder. Kyle Davis and John Mack voted no. 

But Mack had a much different take, saying the settlement’s approval sets a very bad precedent and will lead to a “zoning Armageddon” in the township.

“There’s a slippery slope happening here and it’s really unfortunate,” he said. “We just exhibited to every other developer that we will cave in.”

Davis said he felt a Wawa at that location could be a danger, enticing kids to cross highways to get to it. He and some residents also said the township should have made a full copy of the settlement agreement available to residents before voting on it. Davis’ motion to table consideration of the settlement to another date in the interest of transparency, seconded by Mack, was voted down 3-2.

Before Wednesday night’s vote, several residents implored the supervisors to keep fighting.

“If you settle, over time you’ll get more pumps and more signs,” said Tom Crawford, who lives on Lower Silver Lake Road. “They will keep coming back at you. I’m not opposed to Wawas in the appropriate places, but this will be the first step toward turning the Bypass into another Route 1 corridor. If you’re going to give up, you should be voted out of office.”

Resident Bradley Cooper had similar thoughts, adding approval of the Wawa will have a “domino effect.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:


Find the Newtown-Wawa settlement agreement here: 

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Newtown News of Interest
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