Update: Zoning Hearing Set Tuesday on Fuel Kiosk

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Lower Pottsgrove’s Zoning Hearing Board is prepared to hear requests Tuesday (Sept. 21, 2021) from Redner’s Warehouse Markets for zoning variances that would help it re-develop what township commissioners characterize as an “eyesore” property at 1258 N. Charlotte St. A board hearing on the subject is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd. It’s free to attend and open to the public.

A former gas station and convenience store, occupying land immediately west and in front of the Redner’s market in the North End Shopping Center at North Charlotte and Mervine streets, has been vacant for more than a decade.

The building is in deteriorated condition. Fuel pumps, canopies and light fixtures that once occupied the parcel were removed years ago because they posed personal injury and property hazards. Its driveways and concrete aprons are spalled, cracked, and crumbling.

The privately held Reading-based supermarket chain hopes to change all that. Its plans tentatively focus on creating a “gasoline kiosk” and three filling stations with six pumps to compliment the the supermarket just a parking lot away. A presentation to township planners is tentatively expected during October, Manager Ed Wagner confirmed Monday (Sept. 20).

First, however, the company must obtain zoning hearing board approval on six items:

  • A Special Exception to permit a gasoline filling station in a Shopping Center zoning district;
  • Variances to permit the filling station canopy and pumps to extend beyond the building setback line, to permit the proposed use on an undersized lot, to permit a gasoline filling station on a non-conforming lot, and to permit drive aisles separated from the street by less than 15 feet of sidewalk; and
  • A variance allowing an 18-month time period to obtain a building permit.

The board also is scheduled Tuesday to hold a second hearing on a special exception in a separate and unrelated proposal to install an in-ground swimming pool at a private residence.

Read an earlier story about the property and Redner’s plans, published Sept. 9 by The Posts, below:

Redner’s Asks Zoning Help for Township Gas Station

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Redner’s Warehouse Markets hopes to develop the property at 1258 N. Charlotte St., a parcel proclaimed as a long-standing “eyesore” by Lower Pottsgrove officials, into a gasoline filling station to compliment its grocery sales operations in the North End Shopping Center.

With that goal in mind, company representatives are scheduled start the process with a Sept. 21 (2021; Tuesday) appearance at 6 p.m. before the township Zoning Hearing Board in the Buchert Road municipal building.

Redner's Asks Zoning Help for Township Gas Station

The Board of Commissioners, during its meeting Tuesday (Sept. 7, 2021), heard Redner’s will ask the zoning board to grant a special exception regarding use of the property for fuel sales, and to approve five separate variances from zoning law.

Montgomery County property records show the lot, at the northeast corner of North Charlotte and Mervine streets, consists of 17,600 square feet, or less than half an acre.

The land currently is occupied by a former gas station and convenience store that’s been in disrepair for years, and has been a source of public aggravation to commissioners for just as long. They’ve tried several means since the late 2000s to have a prospective owner buy the property – which they call “a gateway” to the township – clean it up, and put it to productive use.

Four of the five variances sought by Redner’s address the lot’s small size. That “sounds like a lot of zoning relief, but it’s not unusual,” township Solicitor Charles Garner Jr. observed. Commissioners agreed.

The four deal with minimum yard requirements, minimum lot sizes, physical separation between parking areas and the street, and the area and width of the non-conforming lot. The special exception would extend the former filling station use in what is now one of the township’s three “Shopping Center” districts.

Only the fifth variance, a request to extend to 18 months the time needed to obtain building permits, may pose difficulty. Township Manager Ed Wagner reminded commissioners the customary practice is to offer an extension, if warranted, of no more than 12 months.

Commissioners took no position, either for or against, Redner’s zoning requests. If the company is satisfied with the zoning board’s decisions, it’s next appointment will be to meet with the township Planning Commission during October, Wagner said.

Photos by The Posts