Supervisors OK zoning change for donut shop drive-thru
LOWER PROVIDENCE — A zoning amendment that will allow a drive-thru for a fast food restaurant in the Ridge Pike Business District was unanimously approved by the Lower Providence Board of Supervisors Thursday night.
The developer of a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts at the intersection of West Ridge Pike and Trooper Road, on the site of a former gasoline station, asked for the zoning change. The Lower Providence Planning Commission held a public hearing on July 23 and unanimously recommended against the zoning change allowing the drive-thru.
Solicitor John Rice said that restaurants and bars are allowed in the business district, but drive-thru facilities are not allowed for those establishments.
“Currently, the zoning amendment talks about a sixcar stacking area in the drivethru,” Rice said. “We can incorporate the eight-car stacking area that is allowed for banks with a conditional use.”
Attorney Christen Pionzio, representing Shaya Trooper LP of Willow Grove, said the developer had no objection to changing the zoning amendment to include a requirement for an eight-car stacking area in the driveway.
Mike Comroe, the vice chairman of the planning commission, said that he and members of the planning commission were worried that other applicants would ask for drive-thru facilities in the business district in the future if this zoning change was approved.
The board adopted the zoning change without offering any public comments.
Darshan Patel, the owner of Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Lower Providence, West Norriton, Flourtown, Ambler, Hatboro, Lansdale, Willow Grove, Warminster, Doylestown and Jamison, requested the zoning change as a prerequisite for a second request for a conditional use approval from the supervisors. Pionzio said that if the board rejected the zoning change, a hearing scheduled for Sept. 18 on the conditional use would be canceled.
Pionzio said that site plans and a traffic study would be prepared after the conditional use is granted.
In other business Thursday, attorney Rob Lewis, representing Kimco Realty of Timonium, Md., asked the board to reduce the amount of required parking for the Metro Self Storage facility in the Eagleville Plaza to allow construction of two outdoor storage areas for recreational vehicles, campers and boats. The owners of the storage facility want to build a 12,300-square-foot fenced area behind the storage facility. A second, 20,250-square-foot fenced area would be located behind several small retail shops in the shopping center.
The larger outdoor storage area will be built where some of self-storage facility’s parking spaces are located.
Lewis said the zoning change would reduce the requirement for 320 parking spaces to 12 parking spaces. He said the zoning change would allow the realty company to market the shopping center more successfully.
“At this point that shopping center is a dead shopping center,” said Candy Allebach. “We need a supermarket in that shopping center. If he has the security, I think it is OK.”