Chick-Fil-A gets OK for expanded parking
One of the busiest restaurants in Towamencin is looking to expand.
The township’s supervisors unanimously approved on Oct. 10 a request for expanded parking adjacent to the Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Forty Foot Road.
“Since the Chick-Fil-A parking situation has proved somewhat inadequate, the property owner now wants to construct a portion of the parking that was approved as part of phase two B,” said attorney Andy Freimuth, representing Chick-Fil-A.
According to Freimuth and township Manager Rob Ford, the Chick-Fil-A plans were originally approved in 2012-13 as part of a larger plan that also included the adjacent Wawa fuel station and
convenience store. The restaurant opened in February 2014, with customers camped out overnight in the hopes of winning free food.
“Phase one was the Wawa development. Phase II was actually broken into a phase IIA and a phase IIB. Pursuant to that approval, phase IIA was the Chick-Fil-A and associated parking you see here. Phase IIB has not been constructed,” Freimuth said.
According to those plans, phase IIA created a large parking lot with a total of 50 spaces directly adjacent to the restaurant and its drive-through lanes, with a secondary lot containing 27 more spaces located just to the south. A third lot, containing an additional 29 spaces, would be considered part of phase IIB and would be located south of the existing two lots, between those two and the driveway leading off of Forty Foot Road.
“They’d be constructed pursuant to the approved
plan, back from 2012-13,” Freimuth said.
An access driveway currently runs along the west side of the two current parking lots and the restaurant, and the rest of the phase IIB plans show the far side of that driveway being the site of a proposed restaurant pad site and two additional parking lots, plans Freimuth and Ford both said have not yet been finalized.
“At this point in time, the property owner is not prepared to move forward with the remaining portion of phase two,” Freimuth said.
“The prospective tenants, at this time, have changed, so that’s going to result in some changes to the phase IIB portion of the plan. However, we anticipate coming in to the township in the very near future with a revised plan,” he said.
The updated phase IIB would likely not have any impact on the parking on the Chick-Fil-A side of the driveway, Freimuth told the board, thus his request for a waiver of the formal land development process for the expanded parking lot.
“There’s an immediate need for that parking today,” he said.
Township engineer Tom Zarko said he had reviewed the plans and the waiver request, and recommended several conditions: that the new lot be constructed with all appropriate and required erosion and sediment controls, and the lighting and landscaping improvements shown on the original plans.
“I think we’d be fine with those conditions,” Freimuth said.
Supervisors President Chuck Wilson asked if the board could grant the waiver immediately, or would need to advertise a motion to do so. Zarko and solicitor Jack Dooley said the board has previously voted to approve similar waivers, with a letter outlining the conditions, and the board voted unanimously to do so.
Wilson added an extra comment for the developer to keep in mind.
“I’m always impressed how well-maintained the Hatfield Township side of that development is, and particularly in terms of the landscaping,” he said.
“On this side here, a lot of the landscaping that’s been installed, at times is failing, missing, or dead,” Wilson said.
His estimate was that roughly one-third of the landscaping plantings surrounding the Chick-Fil-A and the adjacent Wawa were either dead or missing, and Freimuth said he would pass on that feedback.
Towamencin’s supervisors next meet at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the township administration building, 1090 Troxel Road. For more information or meeting agendas and materials visit www. Towamencin.org.