NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP >> The township’s zoning hearing board is scheduled to hear an appeal at its August 9 meeting that could open the door to the construction of two new drive-thru eateries on Second Street Pike in the heart of Richboro.
Supervisor Barry Moore announced the upcoming appeal at the July 28 meeting of the board of supervisors.
According to Moore, AAA Development New Hope, LLC, is proposing to demolish three buildings at 960, 966 and 970 Second Street Pike between the McDonald’s and TruMark Financial Credit Union, consolidate the parcels and build a drive-thru Chipotle Mexican-style restaurant and a drive-thru Dunkin’ restaurant.
The buildings slated for demolition now house DeJames & Co. Hair, the Orrino Agency (Nationwide Insurance) and the former offices of Roberts and Co. P.C. The property is zoned General Commercial/Office District.
AAA Development will be seeking a number of variances including a reduction in the width of the rear buffer yard that abuts residentially-zoned lands to 1.8 feet and allow parking spaces in the buffer yard, where the required minimum buffer yard width is 20 feet and parking spaces are prohibited in the buffer yard; to allow 37 off-street parking spaces to serve the proposed restaurant uses, which is less than the minimum required number of spaces for any classification of restaurant uses; and to permit off-street parking spaces to be setback between 1.8 feet and 4.2 feet from the rear, front and/or side lot lines, where the required minimum setback is 15 feet from any property line.
They will also be seeking zoning relief to permit a front yard building setback of 50 feet, where the maximum permitted front yard setback in the Village Overlay district is 40 feet, and to permit an impervious surface ratio of 89.4 percent where the existing ratio of the aggregated 3 lots is 74.5 percent, and the maximum impervious surface ratio permitted by right in the Village Overlay District is 70 percent.
Dunkin', a baked goods and coffee chain, is known for its more than 50 varieties of donuts, coffee and premium beverages, bagels, breakfast sandwiches and other baked goods. It was founded in 1950 by Bill Rosenberg who opened the first Dunkin' Donuts shop in Quincy, MA.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., is an American chain of fast casual restaurants in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and France, specializing in tacos and Mission burritos that are made to order in front of the customer. The chain, which owns all of its locations, was founded by Steve Ells who opened the first Chipotle in Denver, Colorado in 1993.
Just up the street, Moore reported that the demolition of the former Murway’s grocery store is now complete and that Giant will soon begin the process of building its new store at the Richboro Plaza. The new supermarket is expected to be completed in early 2022.
Moore also reported that a proposal to renovate a rundown building and warehouse at 840 Second Street Pike will be going before township planners on August 10.
Also on the agenda is a land development plan for B. Blair Corporation in the industrial park; an addition proposed for the former PNC building on Buck Road in Holland for a medical office; and a subdivision for two new houses behind the Advent Lutheran Church on Worthington Mill Road.
Another commercial project moving forward is the redevelopment of the Mill Race Inn site. Coming soon will be condominiums and office uses.
“There’s been a lot of effort to get that building renovated and rehabilitated,” said Moore. “We’re very close to getting that done.”
The township is also seeing a number of new residential housing projects moving forward throughout the township, reported Moore.
“Construction continues at the new townhouses at the Spring Mill Country Club,” said Moore. “The first houses are being built at the Waverley subdivision on East Holland Road. I’ve been told about a half dozen houses have already been sold there. And I’m sure a lot of people saw on Stoney Ford Road there’s been a lot of land cleared there near the Village Shires. A lot more housing is being built there. Residential housing in Northampton Township has been very active.”
The Stoney Ford Ridge project was approved by the supervisors in May as a 10 lot subdivision. Toner Homes is developing the 5.87 acre site with nine new single family homes and retaining an existing single family dwelling that has been converted to three apartments.
In other business at its July 28 meeting, the supervisors authorized its township manager to apply for a $934,000 state grant for the installation of pedestrian safety improvements on Route 332 to provide safer access from the south side of Route 332 to Tyler State Park located on the north side.
The project includes the installation of a rapid flashing beacon and crosswalk at Fir Drive and Route 332 and the installation of a 950 foot multi-use trail along Route 332 between Rock Way and St. Leonards Road.
The project also includes installation of a traffic signal with pedestrian crossing accommodations at Route 332 and St. Leonards Road.
“What we are trying to do is provide more access over to Tyler State Park and have two entrances that will be made safer for people to walk and cycle to,” said Moore. “Right now there are no safe ways of crossing Route 332. The township is working very hard to make the township more walkable, more safer.”
The multimodal grant would fund 100 percent of the project with no matching funds required from the township.
“We send a lot of money to the state. This board is always trying to get the money back,” said Moore. “Why not have that money spent here than somewhere else. Here’s a great example where we can apply for a grant and make areas of our township more walkable.”
In the fall, the township will be seeking an additional grant to extend the walkway down the hill and under the bridge where it will link into the Spring Mill Playhouse and the entrance to Tyler State Park and the Fisherman’s Parking Lot.
The two projects would provide safe access to Tyler State Park at Fir Drive and at the Spring Mill Playhouse.