Auto Zone build­ing per­mit is­sued

The Southern Berks News - - FRONT PAGE - By Denise Larive

AMITY >> The long an­tic­i­pated con­struc­tion of the Auto Zone at 1123 Ben­jamin Franklin High­way (Route 422) will be­gin soon.

Amity Town­ship Code En­force­ment Of­fi­cer Steven Loomis said a build­ing per­mit was is­sued to the de­vel­oper on Oct. 18.

The town­ship con­di­tion­ally ap­proved Auto Zone’s land de­vel­op­ment plan on July 19, 2017.

“There were five pages of con­di­tions, and the town­ship has been wait­ing since De­cem­ber for them to sign the agree­ments and post the let­ter of credit, and the town­ship also al­lowed them to move earth out there,” Town­ship So­lic­i­tor Brian F. Boland said on Aug. 1.

Land de­vel­op­ment work has be­gun at the site. The de­vel­oper has in­stalled curb­ing and the en­trance and exit drives on both the east­bound and west­bound sides of the 5-acre tract.

Bill Roun­tree, di­rec­tor of de­vel­op­ment at Wright Part­ners, Philadel­phia, said Oct. 19 that phase two of the de­vel­op­ment will still con­tain two quick ser­vice restau­rants and an of­fice build­ing.

He con­firmed that Dunkin

Donuts will re­lo­cate there from its cur­rent site at 955 Ben­jamin Franklin High­way.

Signed lease agree­ments are pend­ing for the of­fice build­ing and the other quick ser­vice restau­rant, which he said will be a lunch/din­ner fast food, quick-ser­vice restau­rant.

In other busi­ness at their Oct. 17 meet­ing, town­ship su­per­vi­sors tabled the 2019 fee agree­ment from the An­i­mal Res­cue League of Berks County, lo­cated in Cumru Town­ship.

Su­per­vi­sors’ Chair­per­son Kim­berly J. Mc­Grath said the town­ship will re­quest from the league a 30-day opt out from the agree­ment.

“We could see how Jan­uary, and Fe­bru­ary goes, and see then if there is a trou­ble area or a trou­ble per­son.”

“We ei­ther ac­cept it or they deny the an­i­mals found in our town­ship,” said Mc­Grath, adding, “I have no prob­lem with the base­line fee — we were do­nat­ing $1,000.”

The league has sent new fee agree­ments to all Berks County mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in­di­cat­ing that it is los­ing $1.1 mil­lion a year in pro­vid­ing an­i­mal pick­ups and shel­ter ser­vices through­out the county. It is re­quir­ing a $1,500 an­nual base­line fee from each mu­nic­i­pal­ity, and in­di­cat­ing that the league will charge ad­di­tional fees for ser­vices ren­dered in each mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The es­ti­mate for Amity Town­ship is an ad­di­tional $14,000 to $16,000 per year.

“How do we bud­get for that?” asked Su­per­vi­sor Terry L. Jones, adding, “it’s not fair to the tax­pay­ers.”

League of­fi­cials said they would pro­vide with the monthly bill a list of in­di­vid­u­als who are drop­ping off an­i­mals.

The league no longer ac­cepts night-time drop-offs, ex­cept from po­lice, and in­di­vid­u­als must show a valid driv­ers li­cense or state ID card.

Mc­Grath said the town­ship could pur­chase a mi­crochip scan­ner for po­lice to use when they find a stray cat or dog. She said an­i­mals re­turned to their own­ers by Amity Po­lice, and not by the league, would re­duce the fees charged to the town­ship.

“I don’t see why we have to be on the hook for some­one else’s pet — that’s not our job to care for some­one else’s pet,” said Jones.

The board also unan­i­mously ap­proved the ap­point­ment of Pa­trick Cof­fey, Dou­glassville, to fill the va­cant seat on the Zon­ing Hear­ing Board.

Cof­fey served in the U.S. Marne Corps for 18 years. He is cur­rently se­nior ap­pli­ca­tion de­vel­oper for PJM In­ter­con­nec­tion, Audubon, Mont­gomery County, since 2014.

“We had two very good ap­pli­cants and it was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion,” said Mc­Grath.

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