Holding Tank for Proposed Shopping Center
Posted in the Quakertown Forum
#1 Jun 16, 2010
Holding tank could jumpstart project
6/15/10 by Hilary Bentman - The Intelligencer
Supervisors seemed amenable to using the tank for the proposed shopping center until sewage capacity becomes available again.
Lack of public sewer has been stalling a new shopping center planned for Route 309 in Richland.
But now the developers have a solution that should pave the way for construction.
QPSR Partners LP, which is developing the Pavilion at Richland, is proposing to use a temporary sewage holding tank for its project until public sewer becomes available again.
The developer was at the Richland meeting on Monday, where supervisors seemed amenable to the idea, happy for new business in Richland to help the tax base.
"It's good to get some commercial growth again and to get a few jobs," said Supervisor Rick Orloff.
The shopping center is proposed for the corner of Route 309 and West Pumping Station Road, across from Work Out Plus gym and diagonal from Richland Marketplace, the largest shopping center in the Quakertown area.
The Pavilion at Richland still needs to go through the conditional use and land development process, but plans call for it to be built in two phases.
The first would include the construction of a more-than-14,000-square-foot pharmacy with drive through. QPSR has already secured Rite Aid as a tenant, which would make it the fourth location for the pharmacy chain in the Quakertown area.
Two other Rite Aid locations are off Route 309 and one is off Broad Street in downtown Quakertown.
The second phase of the Pavilion project calls for building nearly 84,000 square feet of mid-box retail use. Plans show this space divided into three buildings. No specific tenants are being disclosed at this point.
QPSR first presented the plans for the shopping center in 2007. After addressing some neighbor concerns, the project got hung up on sewer.
A few years ago, Richland ran out of its allotted sewage space at Quakertown's treatment plant, leading the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority, the township's provider, to put a halt on most new development.
Millions of dollars worth of improvements to the plant and its infrastructure are needed in the next few years to provide for current and future needs. Until that happens, several proposed developments in Richland have been shelved, including the Pavilion.
But to get at least part of the project going, QPSR is proposing a temporary sewage holding tank, which would allow for the construction of the Rite Aid. The second phase of the project would wait for public sewer.
Traffic is also a major issue with this project since its being constructed at a busy intersection. QPSR is proposing access off Route 309 and off West Pumping Station Road.
Plans calls for an access driveway on northbound Route 309 to be built south of the intersection. It would allow for right-in/right-out turns. The developer is also proposing to add an extra lane on Route 309 northbound from the driveway to the intersection to allow outgoing traffic to more easily merge onto the highway.
On the southbound side, plans call for extending the left turning lane on Route 309 at West Pumping Station Road south to the new access driveway to allow southbound cars to enter the shopping center by making a left.
Township traffic engineers will review the plans.
#2 Jun 16, 2010
More traffic, more congestion...more crime.
Do they think they can fill stores while the one across the street still has empty ones?
#3 Jun 16, 2010
Let's not forget the eventual plans for another shopping center across the road from the proposed Pavilion (where the woods south of Workout Plus currently stands). Anyway, it doesn't matter if they fill the stores or not so long as that land is paying more in taxes than when it was an empty field.
All of this seemingly-unneeded development is vital - the Quakertown Community Bank School District needs all the revenue it can get (Dr. A says that we have a revenue problem - not a spending problem) and commercial development of this land will provide necessary tax revenue without housing developments filled with kids needing to be educated. If enough land is zoned (and developed) commercially/industrially your school district tax increases tend to be more limited like North Penn's (Merck, Mongomery Mall, etc. or Parkland (Air Products, Dorney Park, all the warehousing in Fogelsville around Rt. 100/I-78).
The traffic, noise, and esthetics will be a drag for adjacent neighborhoods but at least the taxpayer is a little more financially-insulated. Neither of those districts is requiring anything close to a 6.8%$233 tax increase this year. We need more non-residential real estate development/tax revenue along 309 from the bypass north to Bubba's and soon.
#4 Jun 16, 2010
I agree that commercial is a better tax base, but with retail comes the extra services needed, as in extra police to cover the area which, in turn, will eat up the extra tax revenue since the PD is a very large chunk of the Richland Township budget.
You're exactly right that we NEED more non-retail, commercial space, which the proposed office building that was supposed to go where Auckland's Farm Market used to be. This area needs to attract business's, not retail big stores that attract more than their fair share of crime...like Walmart and Kohl's.
Let's not forget the 663 corrider. Milford is a big, relatively undeveloped area, and with the TP right there, it should be easy to attract medium to large sized businesses...once the economy gets back on track.
#5 Jun 16, 2010
Points well taken - especially regarding Rt. 663. I agree that office parks would be less of a hassle - no shoplifters to arrest. However, I would offer that additional retail development (if that's all we can get) wouldn't strain police protection much more than it already has. Considering the amount of development in Richland to this point, the department is what, roughly 15 members total working 20 hour coverage or so with the Dublin barracks picking up the balance?
Richland's supervisors seem comfortable with the police department operating as it has been over the last few years. There would be a real probability that they would approve the additional development without expanding the police department accordingly - pure extra income. Richland Marketplace, for instance, was added and yet there seemed to be no need felt to hire additional officers as far as I know.
Even if all of this development did ultimately require an additional officer or so, the tax benefit moderating sizable increases at the school district level(consider the proportional size of the two tax bills) should outweigh the incurred cost at the township level so hopefully the taxpayer would come out ahead. Hopefully :)
#6 Jun 16, 2010
Um again, how many of the same stores do we need in a 1- 1.5 mile stretch? A rite aid? is that freaking necessary, we already have two! And do we need more buildings that will remain empty?! They cant even fill the stores across the god damn street! Its been 6 years!
And a temporary storage tank...are there spill control measures in case this bad boy effin leaks?! Containment measures? spill response?! Is it underground, above ground? This could be an environmental disaster if it broke
Dumb, dumb, dumb ideas!
#7 Jun 16, 2010
Actually, Richland was promised a 24/7 police force with the 380% tax increase that went into effect last year, and that Orloff had promised as part of his bid for reelection in 2007. Where's the beef, so to speak? As Clara Peller once said: "I don't think there's anybody back there."
#8 Jun 17, 2010
LOL again, first you need a police chief ...
#9 Jun 17, 2010
A holding tank would have to be approved by the State (PA DEP) local sewer authority and the County. Not sure if there is a size limit on above ground holding tanks, but, in any event DEP will only grant a temporary permit for the tank, which is usually limited to 1 year, unless they've worked out some kind of deal. Obviously, they'll have to pump it out, but the tank should not really be an environmental concern in the short term - a brand new tank is generally pretty solid.
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