During their March 12 meeting, Allen Township Supervisors heard from representatives of PennTex Ventures, the developers behind a proposed DG Market along Cherryville Road. Developers appeared before the board to see whether supervisors would support a variance request, increasing the maximum square footage of their retail property from 10,000 square feet to 12,400 square feet. 

DG Market is a grocery store chain owned by Dollar General. The market features more name-brands than a typical Dollar General and focuses most of its stock on refrigerated foods, deli meats, fresh produce and dry goods. 

The two acres of land on which the retail space is proposed is zoned neighborhood commercial. However, township zoning only allows small retail spaces, no more than 10,000 square feet. At over 12,000 square feet, DG Market is considered “large” retail. 

The property would include 50 parking spots, land buffers and an access road. 

Developers said a smaller store would not necessarily mean fewer customers, but fixed real-estate costs would be the same, making it advantageous to build the 12,400-square-foot retail space. This 2,400 extra square feet, developers said, would only make the building about 4 feet wider and 15 feet longer in depth. 

“I, for one, don’t like breaking the rules,” said Supervisor Dale Hassler. “We have zoning for a reason. If you stop and look at the grand scheme of things, it is a 20 percent increase.”

Hassler said ignoring zoning ordinances resulted in the warehouses the township and residents currently deal with. He said he was opposed to going against the ordinance back then, as well, and will not change his stance. 

Supervisor Gary Behler agreed, worried it would set a precedent. 

“Where does it stop?” he asked. “It should stop at our zoning ordinance.”

Supervisors unanimously agreed to oppose the variance requested by PennTex Ventures. However, the final decision rests with the Zoning Hearing Board, and supervisors cannot change their decision. 

Supervisors also specified that they are not against the DG brand or a supermarket in the township. What they are against, however, is making an exception to the zoning laws. 

This plan will appear before the Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday, March 27 at 6 p.m. at the Allen Township Municipal Building, located at 4714 Indian Trail Rd., Northampton.  


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