Amity rezones 10-acre site along Route 422 as highway commercial

The Amity Township Board of Supervisors recently voted unanimously to rezone a 10 acre parcel along Route 422 from residential to highway commercial.

Supervisor Terry L. Jones was absent for the vote.

The property is located at 642 Benjamin Franklin Highway (Route 422) — on the eastbound side of the highway — between B & S Storage, at 604 Benjamin Franklin Highway, and BlackJax American Pub & Grill, at 668 Benjamin Franklin Highway.

Township Solicitor Brian F. Boland said a previous land development plan for 35 townhouses on the property prevented it from being rezoned about 10 years ago.


The township rezoned (the front edge and back 400 feet from Route 422) several residential properties located between Hill and Limekiln roads.

They were rezoned for future commercial uses.

Peter and Brenda Kunch, whose property borders the rezoned parcel, said they are concerned about future loud noise, light pollution, and water runoff that could result when the property is developed commercially.

“The township has a new stormwater plan with more stringent rules and regulations, and development would require a high intensity buffer between zoning districts,” said Boland.

He said the township’s light ordinance would also prohibit any “light spillage” onto neighboring properties.

Notice of the pending property rezoning were sent to nine neighboring residences and three commercial property owners.

The Daniel Boone Area School District was also notified as well as the municipalities of Birdsboro, St. Lawrence, and Douglass, Earl, Exeter, Oley, and Union townships.

Boland said the Berks County Planning Commission agreed with the rezoning proposal.

They said the commercial zoning for the parcel is consistent with the township’s land use map.

In other business, developers of the Auto Zone, proposed for 1123 Benjamin Franklin Highway, Douglassville, said its two remaining land parcels will likely be occupied by a lunch/dinner fast food quick-service restaurant and a breakfast/coffee establishment.

The township conditionally approved the Auto Zone final land development plan in July.

Bill Rountree, director of development at Wright Partners, Philadelphia, and representing 1123 Douglassville, LLC, said construction of the Auto Zone is pending receipt of the highway occupancy permit from PennDOT.

The Auto Zone (phase I) -- and two other commercial businesses -- will be located on the five acres that are west of Maplewood Drive and in between the east and westbound lanes of Route 422.

The township has hired S. Michael Shaffer as a part-time maintenance laborer. His salary is $18 per hour, effective Dec. 4.

The police department has hired Jeffrey Elwanger, Boyertown, as part-time police officer, effective Dec. 20, and at an hourly rate of $26.22.