Chick-Fil-A gets OK for ex­panded park­ing

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Dan Sokil dsokil@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Dan­sokil on Twit­ter

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. Towa­

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