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Forks Township planners give OK for new Starbucks with drive-through

A proposed plan to build a Starbucks with drive-through service on Sullivan Trail in Forks Township was approved by the township planning commission with some reservations about the layout of the coffee shop’s drive-through traffic pattern.What the commission voted unanimously in favor of Thursday night was a recommendation that the developer be granted a conditional use permit to have a drive-through as part of the business.The Starbuck’s is one part of the proposal that calls for demolishing three existing buildings on a more than one-acre site on Sullivan Trail at the intersection of Town Center Boulevard.The existing buildings include two closed businesses, a Rita’s ice stand and Aqua Pools, along with a single-family home.The plans show that once the buildings are removed, the developer would construct a single building containing a 1,994 square-foot Starbuck’s, two 1,680 square foot spaces for restaurants and a 3,240-square-foot space for a retail store.The proposal was presented by Jeremy Hoagland of The Crossroads Group, an engineering firm based in Hamburg, Berk County. The developer is Cedarwood Properties LLC of Haddonfield, N.J.All commission members said they have no problems with the drive-through as a concept, but did have concerns with how pedestrians and vehicle traffic could safely mingle with traffic flowing in and out of the drive-through.With the drive-through my concerns are with the aisle width for traffic," said commission Chairman Dean Turner. “All the traffic is flowing through the parking lot. I don’t believe the traffic flow plan is the best it could be.”Commission members Larry Kitson and Ian Heck agreed.It doesn’t look like the easiest lot to navigate,’’ said Heck.In addition to agreeing with the concerns of the drive-through traffic, commission member Matt Sprung also questioned whether the developer should design the project to fit with a downtown concept, which the township is working to include in its new comprehensive plan.Sprung said such a design would push the building closer to Sullivan Trail and include walkways to make the area more appealing to pedestrians.Heck said after the meeting that he would hesitate supporting the concept because, “For this area, it might look out of place because all the other businesses don’t look like that.’’The commission’s recommendation will be given to the township supervisors who make the final decision whether or not to approve the conditional use.In other business, the commission approved a plan for a 39,304 square-foot warehouse to be added to Innovative Office Products, a manufacturer of mounting devices for various computer components located on Kuebler Road.Company CFO Kevin McClelland said the company is currently renting warehouse space outside the township and wants to consolidate the business at the Forks location.He said it is hoped that construction will begin in the fall and that the project is phase one of two phases. The second phase is still in the planning stage but would be another addition set to be 30,896 square feet.Charles Malinchak is a freelance writer for The Morning Call.
Source: Morningcall

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