By Jan Carabeo
WYNCOTE, Pa., (CBS) — Right now this parcel of land sits empty and some developers see it as a prime spot for a Wawa.
Fifty-six hundred square feet, 16 fueling stations — a super Wawa if you will.
Sound good? Well, not so much for the close to 50 homeowners who call this their front yard.
“It’s not a good thing, not a good idea,” Wyngate homeowner Donna Powell said.
You can see by the signage that’s the general consensus here at the Wyngate Townhome community in Wyncote.
Wawa is not a welcomed guest.
“We are all in an uproar,” Powell said.
Powell and more than 40 of her neighbors have signed a petition against a proposal now in front of the Cheltenham Zoning Hearing Board.
If a zoning variance is okayed, the Wawa would sit off Limekiln Pike and Ogontz Avenue — and in front of their community.
Powell says she always knew there would be a business here but there were supposed to be limitations.
“When we homeowners bought our homes here in Wyngate, we were told by developers that number one, our roads would be private,” Powell said.
She added, “If this Wawa goes here it’s going to be a traffic nightmare.”
And folks that move in even sign a contract with the owners of Wyngate that says the land may be developed for use under C-1 zoning, which does not include gas stations.
“A commercial business, a C-1 business which is light commercial, not an interstate-sized gas station with 24/7 access,” Powell said. “It’s just scary that you can get a contract, you can get something in writing, and then have people turn around and double talk you, and tell you that’s not what we intended and that you’re reading it all wrong.”
The developers though say they are not in breach of contract.
Matrix owns the town home development and the adjacent parcel of land. It issued this statement in response:
“While we recognize that some of the homeowners would prefer to not see the land developed, Matrix is well within its rights in executing this proposed sale transaction; and, therefore, the transaction in no way violates any homeowners contracts or association documents.”
But the developers do still need that zoning variance approved which would allow them to bring in a Wawa gas station.
That last public hearing is tonight (Tuesday, March 18th) at 7 p.m. over at the Curtis Arboretum on Church Road.
11 P.M. UPDATE:
Residents voiced their concerns Tuesday night at a public hearing about the proposed super Wawa.
“We want it developed. Wawa is just not the right fit for that site,” resident Donna Powell said.
“They should leave the community as it is, for the residents to live peacefully and that’s not what we want to get with a 24 hour Wawa,” resident Renee Tarpley said.
The developer released a statement to CBS 3 reading, in part:
“Wawa and the developer, Bruce A. Goodman have designed the three acre site so as to minimize the impact on the residents of Wyngate.
We believe that the site is appropriate for the proposed Wawa development and that the necessary legal standards are satisfied.”
The zoning board will eventually decide the store’s fate.