The Kenhorst Zoning Hearing Board on Thursday approved two waivers for a Weaver’s hardware store on a 7.5-acre lot between New Holland Road to the west, Liberty Avenue to the east and John Glenn Avenue to the south.
Plans include two buildings, a 20,500 square foot retail store and office and a 6,000 square foot pole barn for dry storage.
Developer J. Edward Shenk said the 20- to 25-foot-tall building would feature a central front entrance, with porches and overhangs on either side of the entrance for curbside pickup, as well as a a loading dock at the back.
Shenk, co-owner of Weaver Hardware Co., said the Kenhorst store will be Weaver’s fourth location. The others are in Fleetwood, Douglassville and Sinking Spring.
The store plans to sell lawn care equipment and supplies, as well as small equipment and is aimed at homeowners and small business owners, according to Shenk.
The property is owned by Ricardo Riethmuller, but would be purchased by EC Shenk Enterprises, LLC – also owned by Shenk – and leased to Weaver Hardware.
The first exemption was necessary because part of the property is in the residential sector of the borough, which does not allow the construction of the store.
Barbara Dietrich, representing Shenk, said the buildings and parking lot will be on the portion of the property in the commercial Kenhorst district, which would allow for the store.
The second deviation was to allow the number of borough parking spaces required to be reduced from 137 to 65 and to reduce their size to 9 feet by 18 feet.
Shenk said his business tracks daily sales at its Douglassville location, which he says most closely resembles the proposed Kenhorst store.
He said the car park averages around 30 vehicles and sees no more than 50, and that 65 spaces in Kenhorst would be more than enough.
Surveyor and plan designer Bradford Grauel said the smaller parking spaces reflect updated zoning standards in many municipalities. He said they changed their rules because vehicles are smaller today than they have been for decades.
The property borders residential properties on the Liberty Avenue side, its northern border and its southern corner along John Glenn Road.
Fifteen residents attended the hearing. A few questions asked about the property’s potential impact on traffic, noise and light levels.
Grauel said an investigation into the store’s impact on traffic is underway as part of a freeway occupancy permit application with PennDOT.
In response to questions from residents about increased truck traffic, Shenk said the Douglassville store sees an average of 1 or 2 truck visits per day.
Grauel also noted that the property will install a 30-foot tree and shrub buffer zone — double what is required by borough rules — and will comply with all borough zoning rules. for noise and light in residential areas.
Some residents were also concerned about insect problems that may arise from the fact that the plan’s stormwater management area and floodplain are located on the residential portion of the property.
Grauel said the property would not hold water for more than 72 hours and any water on the property would be exposed to direct sunlight, which would inhibit the growth of mosquito larvae.
No resident objected to the development plan or the deviations.
After brief deliberation, council approved the waiver request on condition that the property maintain all buildings and parking lots within the commercial zoning district, that appropriate setbacks and buffers be maintained between the property and residential areas, and that promoters comply with all federal, state and local requirements.
The final condition was that if the use of the site changes, a new waiver request must be submitted.
The plans still need to be reviewed by the planning commission and council. Grauel estimated the approval process would take eight months.