John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
They Took All the Trees & Put Up a Parking Lot!

They Took All the Trees & Put Up a Parking Lot!

View of Newtown Village shopping center from South Eagle Road & entrance to McCaffrey's parking lot near Salad Works. Site of new drive-thru bank and drive-thru Starbucks. Image at top shows that trees marked with an "x" in the image below already have been removed to make way for development.

I predicted that the trees would soon be gone (read "Drive-thru Starbucks is Back on Track!") but I didn't realize how fast it would happen!

There's quite a discussion on the Roberts Ridge section of Nextdoor.com about this. Karol King of Newtown Borough started it off with this: "Does anyone know why on earth all the trees were cut down at Newtown Village??? Infuriating. Unbelievable! Makes me hate it even more! In this day and age of capability, they could have relocated the trees and not chopped them down. I’m going to find out who ok’d that decision."

Well Ms. King, it was the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors who approved this project after first voting NOT to approve it despite a recommendation for approval by the Newtown Planning Commission (read "Newtown Board of Supervisors Shoots Down Drive-thru Starbucks"). 

But Starbucks went to court to contest the Board's decision, saying the Board committed an "abuse of discretion"; i.e. Failed to take into proper consideration the facts and law relating to the application and the Town had to settle - it was not likely to win the case. The irony of it all is that part of the settlement included an agreement by Starbucks to provide "an enhanced landscaping buffer around the building." At a Board meeting I commented that this probably would be some low bushes at best!

Soon, when driving through the "Village" on South Eagle Road, it will look less like a village and more like a paved-over strip mall, IMHO.

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a bank, a drive-thru Starbucks
And a swinging shopping spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

P.S. While driving by the shopping area on Durham Road on the way to the Bypass, I noticed many other tree stumps. It's just not happening at the Starbuck's site. But see the Leasing Plan (see image below) in the Brixmor Property Group + MRC (landlord/developer) brochure. The plan seems to include replacement trees, but the disclaimer states: "Any projections, opinions, assumptions or estimates provided by MSC are for discussion purposes only and do not represent the current or future performance of a property, location or market." It remains to be seen if new trees will be planted or just low-profile bushes.

Posted on 09 Jul 2018, 11:26 - Category: Development

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