NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP >> The board of supervisors has given conditional use approval for the Playa Bowls to open its second Bucks County location for quick-serve fresh fruit bowls, as well as health-oriented juices and smoothies.
At the Sept. 11 meeting, the board voted 5-0 to allow the Belmar, New Jersey-based business to open in a building now under construction between the Wells Fargo Bank and Tower Health Urgent Care in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center.
The 1,475 square-foot eatery will be located at 2411 South Eagle Road and face Durham Road.
Because the center is zoned PC (Planned Commercial), the chain needed conditional use approval to change that zoning to E-5/E-6 which allows for restaurants to offer eat-in and carry-out services.
As a result, a public hearing had to be held, which lasted about 20 minutes.
Voting for the conditional use approval were: Chairman Phil Calabro, along with Supervisors Kyle Davis, Linda Bobrin, John Mack and Dennis Fisher.
Under the agreement, Playa Bowls will have 22 seats inside and another eight outside. Drive-thru service is not permitted, nether is outside music or other sounds.
According to attorney Joe Blackburn, who represents the shopping center’s owner Brixmor Property Group, this is one of the smallest food services in the development.
Hours of operation will be seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
In addition, there can be no more than six employees during each of the two shifts.
As part of the approval, food deliveries, mostly of fruit, are capped at six per week and must be made during the off-peak hours.
Playa Bowls’ Newtown location will be the second in Bucks County, in addition to Doylestown.
Other Pennsylvania locations include: West Chester, Villanova, Bethlehem, Easton and State College.
The company has about 80 stores in 12 East Coast states from Massachusetts to Florida, as well as one in Puerto Rico.
According to the Playa Bowls website, each store uses the “freshest, highest quality ingredients,” such as açai, a Brazilian fruit consisting of small purplish berries, as well as pitaya, bananas, coconut and other tropical fare.
The fruit is combined with honey, granola and other healthy fixings served in bowls, and also made into juices and smoothies.
“It’s your slice of summer, anytime,” the company’s website states, with a goal of leading communities “in healthy, sustainable living.”
Founders Abby Taylor and Robert Giuliani grew up near the Jersey Shore. The two avid surfers started out several years ago using a patio table and refrigerator at a makeshift pop-up stand outside a pizzeria in Belmar, N.J.
According to the website, long lines prompted the founders to franchise their idea.
Mike Bergen, who will operate the Newtown location with his wife, said that the menu is aimed at “younger folks.”
New medical spa
In a 4-1 vote with Supervisor John Mack dissenting, the board also approved another conditional use application for the New Hope-based La Chelé Medical Aesthetics to open a second location in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center.
The physician-owned medical spa touts its cutting-edge, non-surgical medical cosmetic treatments and state-of-the art laser technology.
The facility will be located in a 2,916 square-foot area at 2911 South Eagle Road on the opposite side of the same new building as Playa Bowls.
Conditional use approval was needed for a medical-oriented practice in a Planned Commercial-zoned area.
It will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week by appointment only and have a licensed medical staffer on duty at all times.
There will also be nine employees on site in each of two shifts.
Under the agreement, medical waste will be stored inside the building and be picked up once-a-week. Deliveries of supplies will be done mostly by parcel services during the day.
The center, which will have six or seven treatment rooms, will offer hair, brow, skin and body treatments for both women and men.
The spa treatments also include: Botox and specialty injections, as well laser removal of facial hair, lesions and tattoos.
Supervisor John Mack voted against the conditional use approval.
Villas at Newtown escrow vote
In other action, the supervisors voted 4-1, with Supervisor John Mack dissenting, to use developer John McGrath’s escrow accounts for the Villas of Newtown in order to complete improvements to the site.
The vote followed 55-minutes of often contentious discussion between McGrath, the homeowners' association and the supervisors.
A number of Villas’ residents attended the meeting, and seemed to be split on a solution to the problem.
Several of them, including HOA president Bill Posner, wanted to give the developer until Nov.26 to complete the improvements before the township took control of the financial accounts.
In the end, however, the board decided to use the escrow to finish the items that the township engineering firm found needed to be completed as part of the development agreement for the age-restricted community on Upper Silver Lake Road.
According to the several supervisors, McGrath failed to undertake the so-called “punch list,” which included the timely release of water that would buildup in the three-acre retention basin.
Township solicitor David Sander said it’s not known at this time the exact amount in the escrow accounts, and it will have to be determined in order to finish the work.
Tree planting at Roberts Ridge
Also at the meeting, the non-profit volunteer group Friends of Roberts Ridge Park said that it will plant 32 trees on the township-owned site which adjoins the Goodnoe Elementary School on Frost Lane.
According to the group, volunteers will plant the trees at least 12 feet apart in early November, with bushes and flowers added at a later time.
“I’m glad to get residents and environmentalists involved in this project,” stated Supervisor Mack,” And glad that open space will be kept open.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Supervisor John Mack voted against the medical spa conditional use.