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Planning Commission Doesn't Like The Looks Of Bank Proposal

Beneficial Bank is seeking to construct a branch with three drive-through windows at the site of the former Stockburger showroom.

 

Newtown Township’s Planning Commission has recommended that the Board of Supervisors deny Beneficial Bank’s Conditional Use application for a branch on Sycamore Street.

In a 7-1 vote, the commission took the stance based on issues with the site configuration and the fact that it is inconsistent with the township’s vision for that portion of town.

The bank is seeking to construct a branch with three drive-through windows at the site of the former Stockburger showroom. The applicant proposed to face the bank towards Richboro Road and 7-11, much to the dismay of the Planning Commission members.

“Place the building facing Sycamore Street.  There were a lot of dollars spent to beautify that street. I don’t think a wall and a bunch of bushes was the intent,” said Planning Commission member Michael Iapalucci.

But bank officials said the plan as proposed is aimed to accommodate three drive throughs on the oddly configured site. Plus, if it faced the other way, customers would have to walk around the back of the building from the parking lot to get to the front doors.

Planning Commission member Paul Cohen said the township ordinances for this district don’t reference drive throughs. “There is no automatic right to drive throughs,” he said, adding despite what they may say, “the applicant is not necessarily entitled to the drive through.”

Members of the public agreed and urged the Planning Commission not to support the use.

“After all the money that was spent to fix up Sycamore Street what we want to see, they don’t want to do. Sycamore Street wants to be one of the beauty streets of Newtown,” said John D’Aprile, who urged the applicant to change the orientation of the building to face Sycamore Street.

“This situation is really distressing because it compromises everything we’re trying to achieve in this town,” said resident Judy Norkin.

Hank November 16, 2011 at 08:32 PM
I'm going to keep posting this, hoping that somebody involved will see it and have a "Eureka" moment: THIS SITE IS WHERE THE MCDONALD'S BELONGS.
Mitch Orten November 16, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Hank, I appreciate your opinion but I have to disagree. A bank at that particular intersection is a better fit to minimize congestion. If a McDonalds comes to the township I think the current proposed location is preferable for managing traffic and parking issues.
R U guessing ? November 16, 2011 at 11:14 PM
The bank has it's money on that site, unless it backs off, no one else can do anything with that lot !
R U guessing ? November 16, 2011 at 11:16 PM
Don't need another stinkin' bank in Newtown. Boycott Beneficial Bank unless they build it the way Newtown wants It !
ken dolan November 17, 2011 at 03:38 AM
Who ever buys the McBride/Stockburger location is going to need deep pockets. Clean up of the old building dating back to the early 60's is not going to be cheap. Somebody is already breaking the windows in the old service department section of the building. Let get this done, Beneficial and planning commission need to work together.
Coco's Mom November 18, 2011 at 01:42 AM
Thanks Mike I. Who is on our neighborhood board. You have the right idea.

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