BROOMALL–The Marple Township Board of Commissioners on Monday night voted 6-0, with one abstention, to approve the preliminary final land development and reverse subdivision plan for Beneficial Mutual Savings Bank to build a new branch on the former corn stand spot at 2021-2023 Sproul Road.
Board President Michael Molinaro said he had to abstain from voting because of his business dealings with Beneficial Bank.
The land development plan calls for a 2,500-square-foot bank with three drive-through lanes and a bypass lane on the left side, said Beneficial Bank's projectengineer Thierry Lindor, of Bohler Engineering, during a presentation on Monday night.
There will be about 20 parking spaces, including six angled spaces which will primarily be used by employees, Lindor said.
The building was designed to look like a Cape Cod-style, brick house, with faux chimneys “to make it look more like a residential house with a commercial feel,” said Morris Clarke of DAS Architects in Philadelphia.
In July—despite opposition from members of the nearby Belmont Baptist Church–the bank sought and received zoning variances which were required because the branch will be built in an R-1 Residential District zone.
Evergreen trees and 6-foot-tall fencing will create a buffer between the bank and nearby residential properties, Lindor said.
A study of the bank parking lot lighting concluded “there will be no spill off to the neighboring properties,” Lindor added.
In addition, there will be two entrances to the bank site: one off of Paxon Hollow Road, the other off of Sproul Road.
The developer will build a new left-hand turn lane going south on Sproul Road, in order to improve safety and capacity, the project’s traffic engineer, Frank Montgomery, of Traffic Planning and Design, of Camden, NJ, said.
Sproul Road will be widened from about 24 feet to 27 feet in order to accommodate the new lane.
There are also plans to construct a so-called “pork chop” traffic island in the parking lot, in order to promote cars which are exiting the bank to make a right-hand turn onto Paxon Hollow Road, Clarke said. A "right-turn only" sign will be posted at the exit.
Before approving the plan, commissioners added four conditions to the resolution:
1. An existing overhead electrical line should be relocated underground, if permitted by PECO;
2. Left-hand turn lane improvements should be made on Sproul Road;
3. A “pork chop” island should be added to the bank parking lot exit; and
4. The developer will make a one-time contribution of $2,500 to the township traffic signal fund.