Whitemarsh’s Planning Commission Votes to Recommend Waiving of Land Development for Wawa

Last night the Whitemarsh Township Planning Commission voted five to zero to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that land development should be waived in regards to the Wawa that has been approved in Conshohocken. The property where the Wawa is planned straddles the border of Conshohocken and Whitemarsh. Overall the effort to build the Wawa is being appealed in court.

The argument made by the developer’s attorney in support of the waiver is that they would agree to a series of conditions set forth by the township and that the only thing taking place on the Whitemarsh side of the border is parking.

If granted the waiver, Whitemarsh would still need to sign-off on certain things during the redevelopment of the property, but would give up other rights. The attorney representing some of the nearby neighbors claimed that Whitemarsh should be concerned with traffic and the one entrances that straddles the border. There was an argument that PennDOT had approved the location of the entrances and exits, but the attorney for the neighbors argued that PennDOT really only agreed to the entrances and exists based on the plans as provided by the developer, without Whitemarsh having input.

A second argument made by the attorney of the neighbors was that by waiving land development, Whitemarsh would also be waiving a traffic impact fee. The argument made against the traffic impact fee being appropriate for this issue was that the commercial activity is only occurring on the Conshohocken side of the property. One of the conditions agreed to by the developer was too allow the township’s solicitor rule on whether or not the traffic impact fee should be collected.

One thing that was never asked, and it may have been clear on the site plans so there may have not been the need, is the location of the fuel tanks and access points to refill the tanks. We would be curious to know if any of that falls on the Whitemarsh side.

The decision last night was a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. Now the issue will go before the Board of Supervisors, where the issue will be determined.