Developers have proposed a 24-hour Wawa gas station and convenience store at Savage Road and Route 329. During the Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, August 23, supervisors met with engineers, developers, and lawyers to review the proposed sketch plan and address their concerns, including tractor trailers and traffic flow.
The Wawa will sit at the southwest corner of Savage Road and Route 329. The convenience store will be 6,000 square feet with customer entrances to the front and back of the building. Meanwhile, the fueling canopy will be 7,000 square feet. There will be eight fueling pumps onsite with 16 positions and 57 parking spots for passenger vehicles.
There will be no parking for tractor trailers, which concerns supervisors. With multiple nearby warehouses, supervisors asked how engineers will keep tractor trailers from entering the property. Without parking, supervisors worried that tractor trailers would park on a nearby access road.
John Cogan of Cedar Crest Chestnut Development LP, the developers of the Wawa, said the Wawa corporation does not allow tractor trailers on the property.
“Wawa,” he added, “is not a truck stop.”
There will be no diesel fueling pumps, and the canopy is not tall enough to fit tractor trailers. In addition, the access road to the property will be thinner than the standard road width and have extra striping to discourage truck parking.
Supervisors worried that these steps will not be enough.
“[The drivers] are going to do what they want,” said Supervisor Dale Hassler.
“Wawa’s formula has been to discourage [tractor trailers] as best we can,” said Cogan. He added that there will be ample room for tractor trailers to exit the property once drivers realize there is no parking to prevent them from becoming stuck.
Three vehicle entries are proposed for the property: a signalized access to the west of the property, a shared access road to the south, and an entrance on Savage Road that will only allow traffic to exit to the right.
Supervisors voiced concerns with the access road to the south of the property, but Cogan said it will help alleviate backup during peak hours, which can see hundreds of vehicles. Cogan and his team, which includes Lindsey Breylinger of Bohler Engineering and Erich Schock of Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, will re-review this part of the sketch.
The development will also feature a buffer to the south of the property, which faces a residential neighborhood, and a rain garden along Savage Road to meet stormwater regulations.
The development team must appear before the zoning hearing board to address two variances. Per township ordinance, only seven fueling pumps and 14 positions are allowed. Meanwhile, the proposed canopy is 150 square feet over the township’s maximum allowance.
Next, the sketch plan will move to the township’s planning commission.
In other news, supervisors granted another extension to Prologis. Last month, supervisors allowed developers of the property to conduct overnight concrete pours three days a week through the end of August. The company has requested that these pours be allowed to continue through November. In addition, as steel construction begins, developers asked supervisors to grant them an allowance to work on weekends if rain halts any construction. No steel will be delivered onsite, and weekend work will be during daytime hours.
Supervisors approved this request since there have been no resident complaints thus far. Supervisors said as long as this continues, they have no problem allowing work to continue.
Finally, supervisors have put together a temporary parks committee. This committee, composed of four residents and two supervisors, will review similar ordinances from neighboring municipalities, discuss the makeup and terms of the committee, and prepare steps to establish an ordinance that would make this temporary committee permanent. Supervisors Paul Link and Gary Behler are members of this committee.
“I am very grateful that we have community members willing to serve on these boards,” said Behler.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be Tuesday, September 13 at 7 p.m.