NEWTOWN SQUARE–Dunkin' Donuts and Smoothie King may be the new tenants of the vacant building at 20 N. Newtown Street Rd./Rt. 252 and Munger Road, the former site of the Newtown Square post office.
On Thursday night, Gregg Adelman, of Kaplin Stewart, went before the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board to represent developer George Spaeder, of the Rosedon Group, seeking a special exception and several variances.
According to Adelman, the Dunkin' Donuts–which will be facing Rt. 252–is expected to be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. while Smoothie King may be open closer to the afternoon. According to their website, Smoothie King is a "privately held New Orleans, Louisiana-area based franchise company and is the premier Smoothie Bar and Nutritional Lifestyle Center in the industry." In addition, a possible retail store may be added to the existing building as well.
The site is currently zoned as a C-1 commercial zone and the developer is seeking a special exception to use the site for two restaurant uses–Dunkin' Donuts and Smoothie King–that "will dispense food for off-premise consumption," according to the application.
In addition to the special exception, the developer seeks several variances including parking space dimensions, size of the signage, permitting a pole sign, and the measure of illumination.
Rhett Chiliberti, of Bohler Engineering, the project engineer for the site, stated that 27 parking spaces are required for the project, which they have complied with: nine parking spaces for the possible retail store, five spaces for Smoothie King, and 13 spaces for Dunkin' Donuts.
According to Chiliberti, Smoothie King will have no seats but one cash register and three employees. "You buy your healthy shake and you're out the door."
The project calls for a variance in the parking space dimensions to leave the spaces from its preexisting dimensions of 9 ft. x 18 ft. instead of the township required parking space dimensions of 10 ft. x 20 ft.
Three facade signs will be placed on each tenant, totaling 25 sq. ft. each, according to Chiliberti. However, the township has a maximum limitation of 50 sq. ft. of signage.
The project also calls for additional signage–a 25 ft. high pile-on sign located at the northeast corner of the property along Rt. 252, in which there will be three signs on the pole, 25 sq. ft. each. The pole itself will be approximately 9 ft. high, said Adelman.
Chiliberti mentioned the sign pole would be needed for visibility considering the traffic on Rt. 252 pass at a higher rate of speed. Though Chiliberti referenced the road to have a speed limit of 55 mph, it was later corrected that the speed limit along Rt. 252 by Munger Rd. is 35 mph.
The final variance the developer requests is to permit a foot candle greater than 0.2 foot candles of illumination past the property line along Munger Road and the adjacent road of the property. The project calls for 1.2 (for the front of the property) and 1.1 (for the back of the property) foot candles of illumination.
"The reason why we're spilling on to those two areas [illumination past property line] is because we need to comply with the township ordinance's lighting requirement to provide adequate lighting for pedestrians and for vehicles," said Chiliberti.
According to Chiliberti, if the project were to comply with the township ordinance of 0.2 foot candles then it would provide inadequate lighting for the property.
Members of the Zoning Hearing Board questioned how bright the difference would be from 0.2 foot candles to 1.2 foot candles, in which Chiliberti said he was unable to define.
The Board voted to continue the the hearing for next month's meeting and suggested the developer bring in a lighting expert and a traffic engineer to testify and clear up questions raised by the Board