Zoning details involving tractor-trailers, parking spaces and trees were worked out Tuesday for the West Manchester Mall.
A $47 million redevelopment plan is under way that will change the mall from an enclosed retail center to an outdoor shopping hub, similar to Hunt Valley Towne Center in Maryland.
The West Manchester Township zoning hearing board approved variances to zoning ordinances that determined the location of off-street loading spaces, as well as the number of trees required at the mall and amount of driving distance between the lanes of parking spaces.
Mall buildings: The mall project includes three outparcel buildings that will contain eateries and a retail store, according Frank Mihalopoulos, co-owner of Dallas-based M&R Investors, which owns the mall.
The buildings will be facing Route 30 and be situated adjacent to the ring road, which goes around the mall site. The ring road, to be called Town Center Drive, will be expanded to include additional lanes.
M&R Investers requested that vehicles and tractor-trailers be allowed to temporarily park in one of the ring road lanes to make deliveries, as the outparcel buildings have limited loading spaces.
Warning triangles would be placed around the delivery vehicles for motorist safety, Mihalopoulos said. Deliveries would mainly be done either early morning or late evening, he said.
However, the zoning hearing board decided that delivery vehicles would not be allowed to park on the road for safety reasons. Instead, the board voted to allow delivery vehicles to park in small parking lot areas between the outparcel buildings.
Tree space: For the trees, the zoning ordinance requires that one shade tree be planted every 300 square feet at the mall site, with the total being 144 trees, Love said.
However, the zoning hearing board will allow 111 trees for the project, as new mall plans and existing property features would only have room for that amount of trees, according to project manager Erin McCloskey, assistant project manager with Bergmann Associates, based in Conshohocken, Montgomery County.
Bergman Associates is working on the project with M&R Investors.
The zoning hearing board also voted to allow a variance to a parking lot ordinance that required 22-feet wide driving areas between lanes of parking spaces. Thus, mall developers do not have to realign areas that did not meet the space requirement prior to the project, Love said.
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