Wrap-Up of Last Night’s Zoning Hearing Board Meeting That Wasn’t About a Wawa

If you haven’t attended a Zoning Hearing Board meeting in the past, but have attended other municipal meetings, you discovered that Zoning meetings are much different. The process is court-like, where there are motions and objection and a court stenographer present.

Based on the pace of last night’s hearing, the decision to permit a generic gas station and convenience store at the property of EF Moore on the 1100 block of Fayette is going to take several hearings.

So here is what we took away from the hearing:

  • The crowd consisted of about 60 to 70 people not counting people involved with the issue
  • According to the developer’s attorney, the agreement with Wawa has been terminated. This means there is no guarantee of the operator. The plan is still for a 24 hour operation with gas pumps and a convenience store
  • Three nearby property owners were approved by the Zoning Hearing Board to have standing in the case. This group of property owners have an attorney representing them participating in the hearing
    • During this process, the attorney for the developers elicited groans from the crowd because of his tone as he questioned the first person seeking standing. The person, who is a mother of two small children and lives directly across the street from the property, is concerned about increase traffic, etc. The attorney for the developer argued she shouldn’t have standing in the case
    • The developer’s attorney asked a bunch of questions during this process that was trying to establish some type of conspiracy about who is involved with the objection to the development. The line of the night came when the attorney was questioning local developer and property owner Julian Miraglia . The attorney was seeking to know who Margalia had spoken with about the proposed development in the community. Miraglia responded that he has a cocktail at a local tavern each night around 5:00 p.m. and has spoken to numerous people about it
  • The application submitted by the developer had two mistakes in it. The first was that an address that is part of the proposed development was not included in the application. The second was that the plan for the development had a five foot error that resulted in the property being smaller than the plan stated. The attorney representing those in objection to the development argued that the Zoning Hearing Board couldn’t hold a hearing when the application didn’t list the appropriate properties or a correct plan. The Zoning Hearing Board allowed the developers to amend the application and plan and the hearing moved forward
  • The attorney for those objecting to the development also brought up the fact that there is a portion of East 12th Avenue, which exists on maps as a paper street (it only exists on paper), runs through the property and the that there is no record of the Moore family being granted the right to utilize that street for their business
  • The attorney for those objecting had seven subpoenas that he was asked to submit by next Wednesday. He tried to get them put into the record last night, but it was objected to and the Zoning Hearing Board agreed with the objection
  • The hearing got as far as the first expert witness for the developer. His testimony was yet complete and the attorney for the developer mentioned about seven witnesses he plans to call (engineer, traffic, etc, etc).  Each one will be questioned and then cross examined. The attorney for those that object also has the opportunity to call witness. There will also be the opportunity for members of the Zoning Hearing Board to ask questions, along with the public. This is going to take a long time
  • From the sound of some things stated during the hearing, it is likely the continued commercial use by the Moore’s of the of the property is going to be questioned. The attorney for the developers stated that they continue to sell cars, but not at the level as previous years
    • We actually did some research on this a few months ago (and we redid our searches this morning)
      • One member of the Moore family continues to hold a license to sell cars
      • This is the only website we could find for the property
      • We could not locate any social media accounts associated with the car dealership
      • We visited AutoTrader.com and searched for a dealer at the EF Moore address, and came up empty.  We also did a broader search for dealers within 10 miles of 19428 and had no luck
      • We also visited Craiglist and searched under Auto/Truck sales and could not find a listing for any cars for sale from the EF Moore or the associated address
      • We did find EF Moore listed on Yellowpages.com and other aggregate sites with local listings
      • We asked the state if they could confirm the number of cars sold under a license and said they did not provide such information
  • The date of the continuation of the hearing has not yet been announced, we will let you know when we get the information

If you attended and want to add something to this, feel free to do so in the comments. Thanks.