Bucks County Herald

Richland supervisors advocate for building

Credit union asks for zoning relief at “eyesore” property

CLIFF LEBOWITZ

In their latest effort to turn a long-vacant commercial property into a ratable, Richland Township supervisors have authorized their solicitor to advocate by letter to the township zoning hearing board (ZHB), for development of a 4.3-acre parcel on the south side of Route 309, about a half mile south of Pumping Station Road.

The action was taken at the Feb. 12 public board of supervisors meeting, toward the zoning body granting variances sought by the developer, American Heritage Federal Credit Union. The applicant has not yet asked township staff to review its plans. Should the requested relief, mostly from signage limitations, be granted, the applicant will be required to submit applications for conditional use and preliminary and final land development.

Described by Supervisor Rick Orloff as “an eyesore for many years,” the property is proposed to house two new buildings: a 3,200-square-foot structure for a financial establishment, and a 7,052-square-foot building for office or retail use.

The parcel sits just ahead of a large shopping center. Zoning relief was to be sought from the board on Feb. 22, to allow less than the required eight-car stacking lane for each drive-in teller; to allow drive-through, parking, and a portion of a building within the 100-foot buffer yard; to allow free-standing signs closer to the road; and to allow one sign to be 25 feet high by 10 feet wide instead of a maximum of 20 feet high.

Also at the Feb. 12 meeting, supervisors granted a three-year extension to Hough Associates of King of Prussia, to continue serving as the township’s recycling grant consultants. For a consulting cost of $10,000 per year, the firm will take care of all reporting, calculations, and coordination with five other municipalities. The township receives about $100,000 in revenue from the state Dept. of Environmental Protection recycling grant.

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