The township supervisors reconsidered their position on Beneficial Bank’s application for a Sycamore Street location and approved the plans Wednesday.
The 4-1 vote, the second on the same matter, was taken after the applicant threatened a lawsuit. Two supervisors, Phil Calabro and Ryan Gallagher, reconsidered their position to avoid further litigation.
Calabro switched his vote “begrudgingly” and said the left turn in to the bank from Richboro Road was his main concern. “All I’m asking is for the safety of our township that it be a right in and right out” from Richboro Road, Calabro said.
Representatives from Beneficial Bank said they would not consider making that entrance accessible only from a right turn in.
“How many depositors will they lose? Have they done a study that 70 percent of depositors make left turns?,” Calabro said sarcastically.
Wednesday’s vote brings to an end a more than two-year battle between the township and Beneficial Bank over the proposal for a Sycamore Street location at the former Stockburger dealership.
In 2011, Newtown Township denied Beneficial Bank’s conditional use request for the Sycamore Street location. The plans did not fit in with the vision for the future of Sycamore Street, officials said at the time.
In May, the township and the bank came to a court-approved stipulation agreement, which supervisors chairman Mike Gallagher called a “compromise.”
In that agreement, the bank made changes to its plan, including rotating the building toward Sycamore Street. But concerns over traffic lingered and the plans, which were crafted based on the court order, were denied at a meeting earlier this month.
The vote prompted Beneficial Bank’s Attorney John VanLuvanee to write a letter to the township requesting the vote be reversed or he would file a motion to have the township held in contempt of court.