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Auto parts store submits plans

Published October 21. 2013 05:00PM

A new Advance Auto Parts store, a new duplex and a lot line adjustment were the three plans discussed at last week's Walnutport Planning Commission meeting.

After nearly three years with no new development plans having been submitted, Borough Engineer Jason Newhard at the last Walnutport Borough Council meeting said all three plans had arrived just last month.

Project Engineer Darrin Heckman spoke on behalf of the equitable owner and developer of the future Advance Auto Parts store site, who asked not to be named.

Heckman said he was there to ask for preliminary feedback in regard to a sketch plan that would require razing the carwash so the new store could be built on that site.

One issue discussed was the amount of trees allotted in regard to the number of the store's proposed parking spaces.

Zoning Officer Sean Corey said a section of the borough ordinance requires a specific number of trees per number of parking spots. "The reason was to break up the parking so that you don't have mass parking lot on parking lot," explained Corey, adding that they had also required the nearby McDonald's to add trees to its proposed new parking area.

However, the main concern expressed by the commission was possible line of sight issues in regard to the store's proposed driveway along Route 145.

Newhard, in particular, expressed concern about left-turn cross traffic, which he said may cause some issues with PennDOT.

"I think this driveway is going to be the issue," agreed Vice Chairman Kevin Rex.

Heckman said he and the developer had already met with PennDOT and had another meeting scheduled, to which they will invite Engineer Jason Newhard and someone from the borough. The next step within the borough is to present a preliminary final plan.

Subdivision owner William J. Jones III and his engineer, Robert Hoppes, presented sketch plans for a proposed two-lot residential subdivision on Lehigh Gap Street and Walnut Street.

The commission said it was mainly concerned with how they planned to access parking for the lots, dimension and distance specifics about the parking spaces, and possible issues with storm water runoff in an area that, they said, already has water problems.

After the meeting, Jones said he hoped to start construction in spring.

The commission discussed a proposed retail store on the site of the former Classic Car Wash on Route 145, also known as Best Avenue, in Walnutport that is adjacent to the Lehigh Plaza 1 strip mall.

Members approved a zoning ordinance change that would allow, upon request, for the delivery of notices and decisions via electronic media as well.

They said the change would not replace the current, hard copy method of postal delivery but noted that, in the past, notices and decisions, etc. could only be sent via hard copy, written means.

They will forward their decision to borough council.

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