The decision on the proposed Wawa will be made when Borough Council votes on Wednesday, April 17th at 7:00 p.m. at the Washington Fire Company. Here are the latest developments:
Wawa Makes Commitments/Concessions
Wawa sent a letter to Borough Council dated April 3rd laying out commitments/concessions they are willing to make. They are:
- Wawa will prohibit truck deliveries to the store from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM
- Wawa will prohibit trash pick-up from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM
- Wawa will not sell diesel fuel at this location
- Wawa will prohibit truck access to and from this location from Harry Steet
- Wawa will prohibit customers from turning left onto 1ltr Street from Harry Street
- Wawa will install 24 hour surveillance carneras inside and outside the Wawa
- Wawa will maintain the property in a first class manner
- Wawa will comply with Borough codes related to lighting and noise
Over the weekend we started hearing rumors of secret meetings between representatives of Wawa/the developers and members of Borough Council. The accusation was made public when resident Brian Pieri posted the following comment to MoreThanTheCurve.com’s Facebook page under the story about Wawa making the commitment to not sell diesel:
Hopefully it becomes widely public knowledge the private 1-1 off the record meetings wawa was trying to set up w council people (amd not w public knowledge)until the solicitor rightfully ceased that… That’s how much they care about about the people in the upper aves… [sic]
Council members had been advised by the Special Solicitor that it would best if they did not have private meetings with either side, but that it is not illegal. It was just a suggestion to prevent the appearance of back room deals. It appears a letter dated April 5th from the Conshohocken Revitalization Alliance’s attorney, Darwin Beauvais, prompted the Special Solicitor to respond with a letter to lawyers for the CRA and the Wawa’s developers restating the suggested prohibition of private meetings. We are still working on obtaining a copy of Beauvais’ letter to see what it exactly states, but based on content of the Special Solicitor’s letter, it seems that the letter is a response to a complaint about the alleged activities of Wawa/developers.
One of the criticisms from the CRA has been the use of a Text Amendment to change the zoning code vs. going to the Zoning Board to receive approval to put a Wawa at that location. As the Borough Solicitor points out changing a Text Amendment is a legislative process. Going before the Zoning Board is a legal process. Zoning board members are prohibited from meeting privately with anyone to discuss an issue before it.
Have members of Borough Council met privately with representatives from both sides? We witnessed such a meeting several months ago, but have no knowledge of anything recently after the Special Solicitor made his suggestion. Please note, as we stated above, even if meetings took place, no law was broken by just having a meeting.
Borough Council asked its engineer to conduct a review of the traffic study provided by Wawa’s developers. This memo outlined how the review will be conducted. As you will see, it should be complete and we are working on obtaining a copy.
What Will the Vote Be?
MoreThanTheCurve.com prediction is that the vote will 7-0 against or 4-3 for. Why do we say that? If the first four votes are against, there is no reason vote for it, and those leaning towards voting for it, will vote against it. If one of the first four votes is for it, there is a path for approval to obtain a majority. You heard it here first.
FYI, if the vote is close, the deciding vote will be cast by the councilman, Eddie Phipps, who represents the 7th Ward, where the property sits.