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Appeal Currently Not on Horizon For Commissioners on Proposed Beneficial Bank Branch

Marple Township Manager Anthony Hamaday said, "The Township Board of Commissioners, at this point, is not appealing the Zoning Hearing Board's decision" of granting variances to Beneficial Bank to construct a branch at the former corn stand on Sproul and

BROOMALL–Beneficial Bank was granted use variances to construct a branch at the old corn stand–zoned as R-1 Residential District–on Sproul and Paxon Hollow roads by the Marple Township Zoning Hearing Board in June, according to the Delaware County News Network.

Though members of presented the Zoning Hearing Board with more than 100 signatures stating they were against the construction of Beneficial Bank taking over the former corn stand spot, the Board voted 3-2 to grant the bank with its necessary variances.

Marple resident John Butler asked the Marple Township Board of Commissioners at a meeting on July 9th whether the Board would be appealing the Zoning Hearing Board's decision.

"The Zoning Board hasn't yet issued a final decision in regards to its findings. The rezoning is a legislative function of the Board of Commissioners and can be done that way. But the Zoning Hearing Board has within its powers the ability to grant use variances where certain standards are met," responded Township Solicitor Adam Matlawski.

It is not uncommon for a rezoning to occur in an R-1 Residential District along that street, according to Matlawski, who noted that the on Sproul Road was also granted variances.

Because the commissioners have yet to receive the final decision with the Zoning Hearing Board's findings on Beneficial Bank's request for use variances of the site, Matlawksi said the appeal process cannot run until they are issued.

According to Township Manager Anthony Hamaday, anyone directly affected [township resident or member of the church congregragation] by the decision made by the Zoning Hearing Board may file an appeal within 30 days of the final decision has been made.

"The township Board of Commissioners, at this point, is not appealing the Zoning Hearing Board's decision," said Hamaday. "But that doesn't mean that another party that's affected by the decision–whether a resident or the church [Belmont Baptist Church] could file an appeal. They have 30 days from the day the decision has been made to file that and that would be at the Court of Common Pleas."

Once Beneficial Bank officially receives their zoning approval, the bank will then have to formally submit their land development application to the township's Planning Commission for construction.

Beneficial Bank has been located in the Lawrence Park Shopping Center since 1959, according to the Delco News Network, and the project proposes to construct a 2,500-square foot, Colonial-style building on the one-acre lot at the former corn stand spot. In addition, the Delco News Network report that the branch also received variances for two drive-thrus, in which the two homes on the parcel will be demolished.

Gary Kimmel September 17, 2012 at 05:25 PM
The Marple Zoning Board and the Commissioners have very conveniently avoided paying attention to the residents and the members of the Belmont Baptist Church on Paxon Hollow Road. The objections raised to the building of this bank have to do with public safety and security. This whole process has be riddled with failures to notify the residents of the meetings regarding this situation and questionable voting practices. It seem obvious that there is some behind the scenes political nonsense going on. The only details that Leslie Krowchenko left out of her report were the winks and smiles exchanged between the females on the Boning Board and the representatives of the Bank.

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