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The Abington Citizens Network
where Abington, PA residents can share ideas and join forces to build a better community
 

 

WAWA

1331 Easton Rd near Woodland in Roslyn  in the Roslyn Valley Shopping Center
PlanPicture

   THE NUTSHELL ON THIS APPLICATION 
In early 2020 Bainbridge Roslyn, LLC and Peter Tiburzio, the owners of the Roslyn Valley Shopping Center located at 1331 Easton Road,Roslyn, Abington Township, PA  made application to occupy approximately 6,000 s.f. of the Roslyn Valley Shopping Center as a Wawa  Convenience store. The Property is 2.65 acres  and presently developed with an inline shopping center consisting of approximately 29,500 s.f. of leasable area. 

 The Zoning there is MS-VC  Main Street Village Center .  The use "Convenience  Store" is permitted only by Special Exception  - which is what they request.  Convenience Store use includes take-out, automated teller machines, legal lottery sales, and alcoholic beverage sales.  The Special Exception  is only to be permitted if there is no detrimental effect on the community- injurious to the public health, safety and welfare. 

The Shopping Center  was first developed in 1966.  One of the 2 buildings there is approx 17962 sf  and includes the Rite Aid Pharmacy  taking  approx 11,890 sf . The northernmost building  is approx 11,530 sf . There is a 2 lane drive aisle between the 2 buildings  that once served a bank drive through window.  # driveways include full in and out  near the Rite Aid, a right in right out only  near the middle , and one full in out access onto Woodland .

The property is currently non - conforming  with regard to  off street parking, minimum  green area and rear yard setback and building coverage.  The  "Existing Conditions Plan"  by LandCore Engineering  shows these features. Our zoning ordinance requires that non-conformities be brought into compliance when  a site is re-developed.

In addition  they  propose to renovate the 11,530 sf of the northernmost building into a 6,000 sf Wawa  ( the Special Exception use limits them to  3,000 sf), to reconfigure vehicle access  to Woodland Rd ,  reconfigure parking  aling the norther portion  and add 14 parking spaces  and to provide additional green-space and buffering  along Woodland Rd.   The applicants are requesting a variance ( which requires a hardship which is explained  below  5-13-20 )

I am curious to know if neighbors all were properly notified of the Zoning Hearing Board  hearings --- and .... the law requires your input to be permitted at Planning Meetings --- but if your Township never tells you about them ........ then I guess they don't need  to worry about your  pesky comments  ........ 


   

   CHRONOLOGICALLY

2-17-20 Date of the  original Zoning Plan  a copy of that plan is here  as Exhibit C   https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showdocument?id=15160

3-13-20  A revised Zoning Plan   was created  Found in the 11-17-20  Zoning Hearing Board Documents

5-13-21 Bainbridge Ltd  and  Tiburzio made application  to the Zoning Hearing Board Made Application
see it here  https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showdocument?id=15160
asking for a Special exception to allow the Convenience store   and a Variance to increase the size from 3,000 to 6,000sf
The variance requires a hardship - Here is their description of theirs: The Property is the only multi-tenant, in-line retail center in the Roslyn neighborhood of Abington Township. The Property is forced to compete for tenants with much larger, more modern, anchored shopping centers in the Township located on Old York Road and in the vicinity of the Willow Grove Park mall. As a result, the Property has experienced consistent and - prolonged vacancies with a total of five (5) as of the date of the filing of this application with three more pending vacancies. Additionally, the Roslyn neighborhood is currently underserved in terms of convenience store retail. The existing Wawa convenience store at the corner of Susquehanna and Bradfield Roads is undersized, antiquated and incapable of serving the needs of the community. Because of its diminutive size, as well as physical constraints on parking and circulation, this existing Wawa convenience store contributes to significant traffic issues at the adjacent intersection. The proposed Wawa Store (without gas) would provide a much-needed infusion of an anchor to the shopping center which will be a stimulus for the further renovation and re-tenanting of the shopping center while providing a viable shopping option for the Roslyn neighborhood. However, doing so necessitates that the Wawa store be able to accommodate all of the products and services that customers have come to expect from a Convenience Store. To provide all of these products and services the Wawa Store must exceed the 3,000 square feet limitation prescribed by 2103.C Use C-10. As will be demonstrated by testimony and exhibits at the hearing in this matter, Applicant's request for relief from 2103.C Use C-10 is in the public interest, it will not detract from the appropriate use and enjoyment of adjacent properties, nor cause injury to the public health, safety and/or welfare. Indeed, if the requested relief is not granted, the Property will suffer substantial hardship by exacerbating and prolonging vacancies within the shopping center.

8-13-20   Applicant's attorney Lewis writes   Shaun Littlefield  Twp  Zoning Officer  - a Request for Determination  that te proposed use complies with  section  2601 B3 because the commercial use is separated from residential by a street ( not an "alleyway") and therefore not limited to 6 am to midnight operation - but can operate a full 24 hours.  Letter found as Exhibit C here : https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showdocument?id=16511 

8-20 The Zoning Hearing Board heard the matter and turned it down or at least part of it . 3 to 2

8-27-20 Littlefield responded to applicant's 8-13-20 request for determination by  saying the plan and accompanying information was inadequate to  render a determination

9-11-20   Applicant's attorney Lewis writes   Shaun Littlefield  Twp  Zoning Officer with an updated Zoning Plan and request for the determination Letter found Exhibit D here : https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showdocument?id=16511

10-1-20  Shaun Littlefield sent letter to attny Craig Lewis that  the alley was NOT a street and they would need a variance  Letter found  Exhibit E here:  https://www.abingtonpa.gov/home/showdocument?id=16511

  10-6-21  Bainbridge & Tiburzio filed an Addendum to the Zoning Hearing Board Application -

  11-17-20  Zoning Hearing Board  They appealed the determination of the rear paved section as  an alley instead of a street. Discussion largely about the alley and whether it was used as a street over the years and which neighbors had access to it  etc . If it were a street and not an alley, it would not be considered as abutting residential and 24 hr operation would be allowed . 

   3-14-21  - from the Commissioner :  The applicant appeared before the Zoning Hearing Board a few months ago. The original application was denied due to the size but was approved for the requested convenience store usage. The size request was then appealed by the applicant.  

   On 3-9-21  Judge Wendy Rothstein scheduled oral argument regarding the request to have a 6,000 SF store (instead of the 3,000 SF allowed). The Applicant would like the opportunity to present some conditions that it would agree to in order to have the size requirements waived. So the Judge agreed to send the matter back to the Zoning Hearing Board while the Applicant continues to work on coming up with conditions. The Zoning Hearing Board will consider any conditions at a future public meeting, but that date has not been scheduled yet. (ultimately that was 6-30-21 )The application related to the 24 hour operations has been put on hold while the Applicant works on the conditions as well, so that will also be considered at a future date.

If the township is not satisfied with the conditions, it still has the right to oppose the application. (and then the applicant would also have the right to appeal that decision)

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3-26-21 

From Craig R. Lewis  Direct Dial: (610) 941-2584 Direct Fax: (610) 684-2021  Email: rlewis@kaplaw.com  www.kaplaw.com

March 26, 2021    VIA EMAIL & U.S. MAIL

To: Shaun Littlefield, Zoning Officer  Abington Township   1176 Old York RoadAbington, PA 19001

 RE: Request to Amend Appeal from October 1, 2020 Zoning Determination
Abington ZHB Appeal No. 20-17; and   Remand and Consolidation with ZHB Appeal No. 20-09
1331 Easton Road, Roslyn, PA
Bainbridge Roslyn, LLC and Peter Tiburzio
Our Reference No. 16154.001

Dear Shaun:

As you know, I represent Bainbridge Roslyn, LLC and Peter Tiburzio (collectively herein “Bainbridge”), the owners of the Roslyn Valley Shopping Center located at 1331 Easton Road,Roslyn, Abington Township, PA (“Property”). The Property is presently developed with an inline shopping center consisting of approximately 29,500 s.f. of leasable area. As you will recall, Bainbridge proposes to occupy approximately 6,000 s.f. of the Shopping Center as a Wawa  Convenience store (“Proposed Use”).

 Zoning Determination and Appeal

 On October 1, 2020, you determined that the alley separating the Property from the abutting residential district does not constitute a street and therefore the Proposed Use is subject to the hours of operation restrictions set forth in 2601.B.3 of the Abington Township Zoning Ordinance (“Zoning Determination”). On October 6, 2020 Bainbridge filed an appeal from the Zoning Determination (“Determination Appeal”) to the Abington Township Zoning Hearing Board (“Board”). On November 17, 2020, the Board conducted a hearing on the Determination Appeal. At Bainbridge’s request, the Board has not yet rendered a decision on the Determination Appeal. 

Request to Amend Appeal  

Please accept this letter as Bainbridge’s request to Amend the Determination Appeal to include an alternative request for relief in the form of a variance from 2601.B.3.c to permit the Proposed Use to conduct 24 hour operations (“Variance Request”). The Variance Request does not seek relief from subsections (a) or (b) and therefore, if granted, the Proposed Use would remain subject to the restrictions therein, i.e. no deliveries between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and no trash or rubbish removal between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

 Consolidation of Appeals and Reconsideration

 Bainbridge previously filed an application to the Board seeking a special exception in accordance with Section 1005 Use C-10 of the Zoning Ordinance and a variance to permit the Proposed use to occupy 6,000 square feet where the Zoning Ordinance restricts a convenience store in the MS-VC District to a maximum of 3,000 square feet. This application was docketed as ZHB Appeal No. 20-09. By decision dated July 14, 2020, the Board granted Bainbridge’s request for a special exception and denied its request for a variance (”Decision”). Bainbridge appealed the Decision to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas (“Zoning Appeal”).

By order dated March 9, 2021, Judge Rothstein remanded the Zoning Appeal to the Board to be consolidated with the Determination Appeal, to permit Bainbridge to supplement the record in the consolidated appeal, and to permit the Board to thereafter reconsider its Decision. Therefore, please also accept this letter as Bainbridge’s request, in accordance with Judge Rothstein’s March 9, 2021 Order, to consolidate the Zoning Appeal and the Determination Appeal for consideration by the Board at its regularly scheduled hearing date of April 20, 2021.

As permitted by Judge Rothstein’s Order, Bainbridge will submit additional evidence in the form of proposed conditions for the Board’s consideration in the consolidated appeal  

Thank you for your attention to these matters. If you have any questions or require anything further, please contact me at your convenience.

Best Regards,   Craig R. Lewis
cc:
Joseph C. Kuhls, Esquire, Solicitor for the Zoning Hearing Board
Michael P. Clarke, Esquire, Solicitor for Abington Township
Brad Nathanson
Marc B. Kaplin, Esq.

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    May 19,2021  Zoning Hearing Board

Agenda desription :
CONTINUED APPLICATION a. 20-17: Upon Remand from the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, the previous and pending Applications (20-09 and 20-17, respectively) of Bainbridge Roslyn, LLC and Peter Tiburizo, relative to real property at 1331 Easton Road, Roslyn, PA 19001 (commonly referred to as the Roslyn Valley Shopping Center) have been consolidated and amended to request: a) a special exception pursuant to Abington Township Zoning Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) Section 2103.C and the Comprehensive Use Matrix to permit a Use C-10 (Convenience Store); b) a variance from Ordinance Section 2601.B-3.c to permit a convenience store to conduct 24-hour operations; and c) a variance from Ordinance Section 2103.C-10.5 to allow a convenience store of 6,000 square feet. Any other relief originally set forth in either of the above-named Applications has been withdrawn. The property is zoned within the Main Street Village Center (“MS-VC”) District of Abington Township’s Ward # 14

Documents below the agenda:
ZONING HEARING BOARD AGENDA ITEM April 20, 2021 DATE Code DEPARTMENT AGENDA ITEM NUMBER FISCAL IMPACT Cost > $10,000 Yes No PUBLIC BID REQUIRED Cost > $20,100 Yes No AGENDA ITEM: Bainbridge Roslyn, LLC and Peter Tiburizo, 1331 Easton Road, Roslyn, PA 19001

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: 20-17: Upon Remand from the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, the previous and pending Applications (20-09 and 20-17, respectively) of Bainbridge Roslyn, LLC and Peter Tiburizo , relative to real property at 1331 Easton Road, Roslyn, PA 19001 (commonly referred to as the Roslyn Valley Shopping Center) have been consolidated and amended to request:
     
 a) a special exception pursuant to Abington Township Zoning Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) Section 2103.C and the Comprehensive Use Matrix to permit a Use C-10 (Convenience Store);
     
 b) a variance from Ordinance Section 2601.B-3.c to permit a convenience store to conduct 24-hour operations; and

 c) a variance from Ordinance Section 2103.C-10.5 to allow a convenience store of 6,000 square feet.

  Any other relief originally set forth in either of the above-named Applications has been withdrawn.
   The property is zoned within the Main Street Village Center (“MS-VC”) District of Abington Township’s Ward # 14.

             PREVIOUS BOARD ACTIONS: n/a
 
          6 RECOMMENDED BOARD ACTIONS: 20-17: Upon Remand from the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, the previous and pending Applications (20-09 and 20-17, respectively) of Bainbridge Roslyn, LLC and Peter Tiburizo , relative to real property at 1331 Easton Road, Roslyn, PA 19001 (commonly referred to as the Roslyn Valley Shopping Center) have been consolidated and amended to request:

      a) a special exception pursuant to Abington Township Zoning Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) Section 2103.C and the Comprehensive Use Matrix to permit a Use C-10 (Convenience Store);

     b) a variance from Ordinance Section 2601.B-3.c to permit a convenience store to conduct 24-hour operations; and

     c) a variance from Ordinance Section 2103.C-10.5 to allow a convenience store of 6,000 square feet.

     Any other relief originally set forth in either of the above-named Applications has been withdrawn.

     The property is zoned within the Main Street Village Center (“MS-VC”) District of Abington Township’s Ward # 14.

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  6-30-21   Special Meeting, Zoning Hearing Board - 06/30/2020   7:00 PM - 8:59 PM

PUBLIC NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING  ABINGTON TOWNSHIP  ZONING HEARING BOARD   June 30, 2020 at 7:00 PM 

Notice is hereby given that the Township of Abington Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) will hold a special meeting on June 30, 2020 at 7:00 PM by webinar..... ( several other property applications preceded this: ) 

20-09: This is the application of Bainbridge Roslyn, LLC and Peter Tiburizo, owners of the property addressed as 1331 Easton Road, Roslyn, PA 19001, commonly referred to as the Roslyn Valley Shopping Center. The applicants are seeking a Special Exception to convert 6,000 square feet of the 11,530 square foot northern building on the property for a new Wawa store. A Use C-10 {Convenience Store}, is permitted in the Zoning Ordinance by Special Exception within the Main Street Village Center District. A variance from Section 2103.C-5 is also requested as the gross floor retail area is limited to 3,000 square feet for a Convenience Store. The property is located within Ward # 14 of the Township of Abington.

    1. Each speaker must provide their first and last name and confirm they are a resident of Abington Township for the public record before beginning their comments.
    2. Each speaker will be provided three minutes for comments.

Note:  There is a 30 day period after the date the decision is rendered for any and all aggrieved persons to file an appeal in the appropriate court to contest the actions of the Zoning Hearing Board.   Applicants that take action on a Zoning Hearing Board Approval during the 30 day appeal period, do so at their own risk.  

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  Conshohocken residents win 8-16-21  https://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Commonwealth/out/501CD20_8-16-21.pdf
They were faced with a text and map amendment ( which this is not ) but they won based largely on Spot Zoning law and the fact that this was NOT  part of the Councilmembers' vision. 


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   As of  8-24-21  Still no written results from June 30th 2021  ZHB meeting/hearing    It is my understanding that at this meeting they approved the size at 6,000 sf  and the  24 hour operation  but that this would be limited to deliveries for 24 hours  with no deliveries on Sat or Sun .  We  have yet to see the official written  opinion of the Zoning Hearing Board  - so this has not been verified yet.  They have some time after that is revealed for an appeal period  before any final decision will hold  and work can begin.     

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