Tuesday, September 25, 2018


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Pennsburg Council Approves Plans for Shopping Center Expansion
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            A West Chester property management company received final approval Tuesday from Pennsburg Borough Council to expand the Pennsburg Square Shopping Center.

            Only Diane Stevens voted against a pair of motions allowing Westover Commercial permission to add three new businesses and additional office space.  The approval requires the applicant to meet a series conditions within 90 days. The members also voted to grant a series of waivers on the project.

            The application calls for the removal of five unoccupied homes along Pottstown Avenue and replacing them with three businesses.

            Work at the site could likely commence within three months, according to council President Kris Kirkwood.

            A lawyer for the applicant told the members in December that the developer hopes to replace them with a retail business, a fast food restaurant with a drive thru, and a bank or financial institution with a drive thru.

            The new businesses would be located in a portion of the property zoned Light Industrial Commercial, according to Cynthia Smith, the civil engineer representing the applicant.

            Pennsburg Square Associates LP owns the property, a 13.1 acre parcel at 430 Pottstown Ave., which hosts the shopping center, according to information posted on the Montgomery County property records website.

            The proposal involves five adjacent parcels along Pottstown Avenue. The company purchased all five properties at 310, 316, 320, 322 and 324 Pottstown Ave. within five days of October of 2016, according to county property records.

            In December, during a conditional use hearing, the applicant's lawyer stated his clients hope to construct a building adjacent the Quakertown National Bank branch. The new structure will include retail and office space uses, according to Mark Damico, a Delaware County attorney.

            The project includes two new driveways located in the vicinity of Seminary Avenue and Silk Alley, according to Smith, the president of Horizon Engineering, a borough firm.  She said left turns will not be allowed on the new driveway near Silk Alley, and that the land development plan calls for the addition of a left turn lane on Pottstown Avenue beyond the length of the property.

            Citing a traffic study of nine proximate intersections, Ben Guthrie told council that the implementation of a traffic light at Route 663 and Seminary Avenue or at proposed driveway is not warranted.

            Prior to casting her votes, Stevens expressed concern that the municipality would be forced to pay for the installation of future traffic lights should they be deemed necessary by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. She suggested that the developer pay that expense.

            According to Solicitor Chuck Garner, nothing in the language of the approval requires the borough to fund a new traffic light.





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