Opinion: Conshy Doesn’t Gotta Have a Wawa

Yesterday we posted the entire video showing the discussion and public comment regarding the proposed Wawa at 12th and Fayette from the October 18th meeting of Conshohocken’s Borough Council. During this meeting, the specific issue being considered was whether to advertise the proposed amendment so a hearing could be held. Conshohocken’s Borough Council voted 4-3 to advertise the amendment.

Thus far, our soft reasoning against a new Wawa is that there are four in the immediate area (the only way you can get into Conshohocken without passing close to one is Alan Wood Road) and that Wawa has no plan to close any of the existing stores even if the new one is approved.

Our opinion has changed due to two interesting comments made during the October 18th meeting. They were made by the the attorney for Provco Pineville (the developer), Ross Weiss. and below, through text and video, we highlight them.

Some background first. This is the third attempt by Provco Pineville to get a Wawa approved in Conshohocken. Its two prior attempts failed (one before Borough Council and one before the Zoning Hearing Board). As part of the prior process before Borough Council, it also lost a vote before Conshohocken’s Planning Commission.

Provco Pineville appealed the Zoning Hearing Board’s decision and that appeal currently sits in a county court. It has not advanced thus far.

The new proposal, that is now being advertised and will receive a hearing, doesn’t mean that the appeal to the court goes away. As you will see in the below video, Weiss points this out and holds it over the heads of the members of Borough Council and the community as a whole. He basically states that if the new proposed Wawa doesn’t get approved, but the developer win in court, the Wawa built will be the one that Wawa wants to build, not the one that was designed with Borough Council’s input.

That is an odd statement to make. Is Wawa’s basic store, one without community input, so bad that building one should be considered a detriment?

The second thing we want to point out is Weiss’ use of the word “urban” to describe Conshohocken. We think this characterization of Conshohocken may have killed the possibility of Wawa getting approved.

Over the past few years, minus the hotel issue, Conshohocken’s Borough Council has sought to decrease density (through a restriction on what homes can be knocked down to make way for multiple homes) and encourage families to stay in Conshohocken (through the upgrades to all the parks).

Right now the Borough of Conshohocken is in the midst of developing a new comprehensive plan, which is meant to help guide Borough officials in planning and development over a 10 year period. We guarantee you that there hasn’t been one discussion on how encourage urbanization in Conshohocken.

Conshohocken, Conshy doesn’t gotta have a Wawa.