After a public backlash from neighborhood residents, a zoning board made a final decision on the building of a Super Wawa in a Montgomery County community.
The Cheltenham Township Zoning Hearing Board approved the application for the building of a Super Wawa in Wyncote, Pa., during a meeting Monday night.
The Super Wawa will be built adjacent to several townhomes in the Wyngate community bordering Ogontz Avenue, Limekiln Pike, MacDonald Avenue and Clubhouse Lane off of Route 309, according to Montgomery County News.
Montgomery County News reports that the Super Wawa will consist of a 5,585-square-foot convenience store, a fueling station with eight gas pumps and 66 parking spaces.
The zoning board first reviewed the application for the Wawa back in July of 2013, which was submitted by local developer Bruce Goodman.
Many Wyngate residents immediately opposed the building of the Wawa, citing traffic, property value, air quality, noise and crime concerns. They also claimed that the Super Wawa violated the contract they entered when they purchased their homes since the roadways and curbs in the community would be open to public use for all vehicles entering or exiting the store.
“As part of our home purchases the homeowners entered into a contract with the builder (Matrix/Fairways),” said Angel Hall, a Wyngate homeowner. “Our contract (Public Offering Statement) was supposed to afford us certain protections and expectations. Namely it spelled out that the roads in Wyngate are private and for the exclusive use of homeowners and their guests. It also mentioned that a vacant parcel (parcel #2) would later be developed with a C-1 business. Finally, it assured us that there were no hazardous materials on site including petroleum products or underground storage tanks.”
According to Montgomery County News, officials with Matrix/Fairways, the builder of the homes, released a statement claiming that the parcel adjacent to Wyngate could be developed by any permitted uses within the C-1 zoning district. The statement also claimed that Wyngate residents and their guests have the exclusive right to use the roadways and curbs in their community. Finally, the statement denied claims that hazardous substances would be on the property of the Super Wawa.
“A super sized 24/7 WaWa is not a C-1 business,” Hall said. “Also, the petroleum products and underground storage tanks that come with a Super WaWa are contrary to the contract as well the use of our private roads.”
Hall says she is “devastated” by the Zoning Board’s decision.
“The board showed no consideration for the impact that the Wawa would have on the community and totally disregarded the safety of residents and most importantly the children and seniors,” she said. "The Wyngate community is considering its next steps."