Proposed Wawa Generates Almost $350,000 in Attorney Fees for Borough of Conshohocken

So yesterday, a packet full of invoices for the attorneys involved in representing Conshohocken’s Borough Council and the Zoning Hearing Board landed on our doorstep.

The Wawa (and for the times when it was just a generic gas station with food sales) has gone through multiple approval processes:

  • Not recommended by the Planning Commission (2013)
  • Text amendment to allow it voted down by Borough Council (2013)
  • Zoning relief sought from Zoning Hearing Board rejected (2016)
  • Text amendment to allow it approved by Borough Council (2017)
    • Between 2013 and 2017 several members of Borough Council had changed. This council voted to make the needed zoning change
  • The ordinance for the 2017 text amendment invalidated by the Zoning Hearing Board (2019)
  • Zoning Hearing Board invalidation appealed (2019)

Below is the breakdown of the invoices:

  • $30,070.59 to John Adam Di Pietro (special counsel for Borough Council)
  • $206,991.85 to Obermayer (special counsel for Borough Council)
  • $106,358.55 to Rudolph Clarke (solicitor for the Zoning Hearing Board)
  • Total – 343,420.99 as of February 2019

Please note, this is just the Borough’s legal fees. If you tack on the unknown amounts from the developer and the group fighting it, it has to be near $1 million.

FYI, two of three attorneys involved are big-time Democratic Party insiders. Obermayer is the law firm of David Nasatir, who is the Treasurer of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee. His name is all over the invoices charging $250 to $400 an hour. The Clarke in Rudolph Clarke is Michael Clarke, who is a major donor to local candidates.