June 2023 Issue of Newtown News Update
Are You Ready for Newtown Zoning Armageddon™?
The Wawa settlement emboldened other developers to challenge #NewtownPA's zoning laws!
1. the last and completely destructive battle
It all started over five years ago, when representatives from Provco (Wawa developer) presented a “sketch plan” of a combination convenience store and gas station to the #NewtownPA Board of Supervisors (BOS) at a Work Session. The plan was for a proposed “Super Wawa” to be located on Newtown Bypass at the intersection with Lower Silver Lake Road within the OR (Office/Research) district.
Little did I – a novice Supervisor at the time – understand that this would be the beginning of what I now call “Newtown Zoning Armageddon™” – an epic series of battles between litigious developers and the township.
These battles, I fear, will eventually lead to developers rewriting zoning ordinances (laws) meant to protect the promise of Newtown as “A Great Place to Live, Work, and Worship” as well as enjoy open, undeveloped space.
I'd like to know your opinion. Please take a few minutes to respond to my survey.
Read the newsletter embedded below or download the PDF version here to find out why I think Newtown Township faces “Judgment Day” with regard to its zoning laws. Also, see some comments from subscribers...
“Maybe there has always been a problem with these zoning laws being unconstitutional, in an effort to keep out new developments. I moved to Newtown in 1977, Mr Vanluvene (sp?) represented the builders in Newtown Crossing then and won. 46 years later he is still winning, township is still loosing( sometimes on purpose ?) same old same old wrong.” – Greg
“Looks like we are at the mercy of the courts not only in Newtown but all around...Is there anything we can do to even the playing field?” – David
“John, please keep fighting the fight!” – Dan
“Thanks for sending this out and standing up to the developers. The first thing the supervisors need to do is remove the solicitor, Dave Sanders, and replace him with a competent, aggressive attorney. Thanks again.” – Carl
“I want to thank you for fighting the fight to prevent all this happening. And just as an aside, we just traveled to the Outer Banks through Delaware/Maryland...Wawas at every exit and in commercially developed areas where they belong. Not in the middle of green open space. It's a sad day for Newtown. I think the supervisors who voted yes are going to regret their decision and to think the fate of the bypass rested with one supervisor who voted yes...I think the majority of residents would rather not see a Wawa on the corner. Thanks again.” – Susan
“You keep complaining about things like this and never do anything about it. This is all show since we know that the Supervisors will change the zoning to over develop Newtown. Maybe it's just time to change who the Supervisors are. Maybe we can get some that actually believe in open space and not try to make Newtown into a city. You need look no further than the Villages of Newtown shopping center. It is almost impossible to park there and you keep approving more and more restaurants that require more parking spots. I tried to go to Rite on a weekend night and there was no place to park. I'm at the point now where I won't even try to go shopping there even during the day unless I have no other choice. Thank you for ruining not only a nice shopping center but a nice township.” – Larry