During last night’s meeting of Conshohocken’s Borough Council. it voted 4-3 to advertise the proposed zoning amendment that would allow a Wawa at the Moore property at 12th and Fayette. Voting in favor were Colleen Leonard (D, Ward 7), Robert Stokley (R, Ward 6), Jane Flanagan (D, Ward 5), and Tina Sokolowski (D, Ward 3). Voting against it were Anita Barton (D, Ward 4), Ike Griffin (D, Ward 2), and Karen Tutino (D, Ward 1). The hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 15th.
During the discussion on this topic, Colleen Leonard (D, Ward 7) revealed that the Borough has thus far spent $250,000 on legal fees on this issue. It was also her concern that if they don’t consider this new proposal (the previous one that went before the Zoning Hearing Board is currently in court), that Borough Council will lose any influence on how the Wawa will be built. For example, the current proposal accepts certain conditions that the Borough desires. If Borough Council declines the new proposal, and the developer wins in court, the Wawa gets built with none of those conditions met. The attorney for the developer, Ross Weiss, even stated that this will be the case.
During public comment, minus the lawyers and consultants, approximately eight members of the public spoke against it. No one spoke for it. One person stated that while not for it, she didn’t want the Borough to lose its input.
Stokley (R, Ward 6) and other members of Borough Council expressed frustration with the petition against it that had been circulated (according to Stokley one person had signed it multiple times). Stokley said that he and other Borough Council members desire direct communication from their constituents on this topic.
The timing of this hearing absolutely makes this an election issue. Four seats on Borough Council are up for election on Tuesday, November 7th. As we mentioned, the hearing is scheduled the following week on November 15th.
Here are the members and their email addresses (feel free to cc us firstname.lastname@example.org):
Ward 1 – Karen Tutino
Ward 2 – James Griffin (up for election)
Ward 3 – Tina Sokolowski
Ward 4 – Anita Barton (up for election)
Ward 5 – Jane Flanagan (up for election)
Ward 6 – Robert Stokley (up for election)
Ward 7 – Colleen Leonard
Mayor – Robert Frost (up for election)
We will have our takeaways from this meeting later today or in the morning.