AMITY >> The Amity Township Planning Commission reviewed a conceptual plan for an Auto Zone and another large retail store (or two smaller retail stores) on five acres of land between both sides of Route 422 and west of Maplewood Drive.
Bill Rountree, director of development at Wright Partners in Philadelphia, told the planners on Nov. 9 that his client, 1123 Douglassville LLC, has a signed lease for the AutoZone.
“We are pursuing all kinds of retail, including restaurants,” said Rountree.
The land is zoned highway commercial and would include entrances/exits to east and west Route 422.
“We’re doing preliminary land testing, and we’re in our last month of due diligence,” said Rountree, adding, “We will proceed with the AutoZone and pursue the others.”
“What do you think of the plan — how does the board feel?” asked Rountree, and also asking if the township could waive any of the traffic impact fees.
Traffic impact fees are charged to developers based upon a predetermined number of peak morning and afternoon customers.
The fees are used by the municipality for road improvements that result from the new retailer.
Township Engineer John Weber said the deceleration lane required for CVS Pharmacy, 1149 Benjamin Franklin Highway, was credited toward its traffic impact fees.
“I would assume it could be done again,” said Weber.
He said traffic impact fees are based on the value of the improvements.
“We need to do something to make it work,” said Supervisor and Commission member Terry L. Jones, adding, “We don’t need to be chasing people away; we need to figure out how to get them here.”
The township has rezoned areas along Benjamin Franklin Highway to highway commercial, increased the uses permitted by right, and also zoned more than 400 acres on north Limekiln Road for planned business, office, and industrial uses, in order to attract commercial businesses to the township.
After more than one year of study, the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance on January 21, 2015, which reduced traffic impact fees from $2,094 (per PM peak hour trip) to $899.52 for Traffic Service Area North.
Traffic Service Area South fees were reduced from $2,076 to $705.12 (per PM peak hour trip).
The new conceptual AutoZone and retail/restaurant project is located in Traffic Service Area South.
The plan was also presented by Dave Weaver, of Penn E & R Inc., Hatfield, Montgomery County.