The latest Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board meeting last Thursday night on a proposed Wawa in the township saw one expert witness testify on behalf of the developer, Provco Pinegood Newtown LLC, board solicitor Michael Clarke wrote in an email to NewtownPANow.com.
The next hearing on the matter will be May 30, he added.
“No decision will be reached at that (May 30) meeting,” Clarke wrote. “While not confirmed, we expect a vote will occur in July.”
Provco is proposing a 5,585 square-foot Wawa with eight fuel dispensers on a 4.95-acre parcel just off the Newtown Bypass near Lower Silver Lake Road. Thursday night’s meeting was the latest in a series of zoning hearings being held on a validity challenge filed by the developer to certain provisions of the joint municipal zoning ordinance that governs zoning for Newtown, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown townships.
The provisions of the JMZO being challenged are those that don’t allow eight fuel pumps on a tract less than five acres, and don’t allow the type of electronic sign being proposed by Provco, considered an “electronic messaging center” under the JMZO. A convenience store with fuel pumps is an allowable use in the office research zoning district where the Wawa would be located, but must comply with the specific provisions of the joint ordinance unless variances are granted.
The Newtown Township and Upper Makefield supervisors both voted to send attorneys, David Sander for Newtown and Peter Nelson for Upper Makefield, to speak in opposition to the Wawa as currently proposed at the validity challenge hearings. An expert witness for Newtown Township is expected to testify at the May 30 hearing, Clarke stated.
In addition to the hearings on the validity challenge, Provco has appealed a previous denial of variances by the zoning board and denial of land development approval by the township supervisors to Bucks County Court.