The development of three retail stores on the site of the former Newtown Square Post Office hit a snag at Thursday night’s zoning board hearing at the Newtown Township Building on Bishop Hollow Road.
The Newtown Township’s Zoning Hearing Board denied the request for several variances proposed by the Rosedan Group, the developer of the retail project. At issue was the size of the signs to be put on the storefronts, a pole sign or pylon to be placed on Route 252 and a request to increase the amount of illumination in the front and rear of the proposed stores.
The Dunkin' Donuts will face Route 252 while the Smoothie King and the as- yet-undetermined third retail store will face Munger Road. Smoothie King, according to their company website, is a "privately held New Orleans, Louisiana-area based franchise company and is the premier Smoothie Bar and Nutritional Lifestyle Center in the industry."
Last month, the board requested additional evidence from the developer to support the requested variances. At Thursday night's meeting, Gregg Adelman, attorney at Kaplin/Stewart, representing the Rosedan Group, provided experts to support the sought after variances. Adelman also introduced evidence that other local businesses, including CVS Pharmacy and UNO Chicago Grill, were granted similar variances within the last two years.
One of the experts, project manager Joseph Platt of Traffic Planning and Design in Pottstown testified that the developer’s requested variance of one 75-foot-high pylon sign and three 25-foot-square tenant wall signs “will not have an adverse impact of the health, safety, and welfare of the community from a traffic engineering perspective.”
Another expert, Travis North of Bohler Engineering in Chalfont, Pa., testified that the proposed increase in foot candle illumination “is an improvement over current township standards and less spill over illumination than the adjacent WaWa.”
Currently, the township has a maximum limitation of 50 square feet of wall signage and a maximum pylon sign height of 50 feet and a maximum of 0.2 foot candles of illumination. The Rosedon Group is seeking variances permitting 75 square feet of wall signage of a 75 foot high pylon and 1.2 foot candles of illumination.
The developer is expected the appeal the ruling. Calls to Adelman to confirm their next step were not returned late Thursday night after the meeting.
The next Zoning Hearing Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 16, at 7:30 p.m.