Warwick planners OK bank branch construction

By on April 4, 2018

Developer shelves plans to build apartment complex

The Warwick Township Planning Commission gave its blessing to the final land development plan for a bank with drive-through lanes at its April 3 meeting.

The bank, which has not yet been identified, would be located at the intersection of West Woods Drive and Lititz Pike. The plan has been filed on behalf of developer March Capital LLC.
There was some controversy with plans for the bank, due to its location at the crest of a hill just off Lititz Pike. In September 2017, the applicant sought conditional use approval for the local commercial zone, and was granted that conditional use request by the Warwick Township Supervisors.

Since the bank would actually be accessed from West Woods Drive, concerns about traffic would be alleviated.

“Banks are typically low-volume businesses,” said Warwick Township manager Daniel Zimmerman. “So there would not likely be a significant increase in traffic for the bank.”

Warwick Township planners reviewed the final land development plan, which calls for the as-yet-unnamed bank to be located in a 3,000-square-foot building that runs along Lititz Pike, but is accessed only from West Woods Drive. The bank would have three drive-through lanes, one for ATM and two for bank teller business.

The property is currently comprised of three different lots, 920 and 922 Lititz Pike and the third lot with an address on West Woods Drive. The lots are currently residential, two of which have a driveway connection off of Lititz Pike and the third has a driveway connection off of West Woods Drive.

Plans call for a yet-to-be named bank in a 3,000-square-foot building that runs along Lititz Pike and is accessed only from West Woods Drive. The property is currently comprised of three different lots which would be torn down.

All three residential properties would be torn down to make way for the bank. They have been rental properties, with two of them having poor visibility driveways directly onto Lititz Pike.
Alex Piehl of RGS provided an outline of the plan, which has been revised since its original presentation back in September. The bank building would have parking along the south side of the building. There would be two-way circulation around the building to the drive-through lanes which would then circulate back out onto West Woods Drive.

Waivers relating to the clear sight distance, buffers along Lititz Pike, curb radius and building set-back were reviewed. The driveway into the bank would be designed so that cars do not scrape as they drive over the entrance. It was determined that a guide rail was not needed on the steep hill above the bank. A fence will be constructed with a vegetation buffer. Initially, the plan called for the possibility of an apartment complex being added to the western side of the site. However that plan has been put on hold by the developer. Planner Robert Kornman suggested that the developer consider doing that in the future, especially since three residences will be eliminated by tearing down the houses. Kornman said that Warwick Township is in need of affordable rental properties and that location would be suitable for apartments. John Schick with Rettew Associates reviewed the traffic assessment, and presented study information for the intersections of Route 501, East and West Woods and Highlands Drive. The study was done during the peak a.m. hours of 7 to 9 a.m. and during the peak p.m. hours of 3 to 6 p.m. Access for emergency vehicles would be possible.

The developer put on hold plans to build an apartment complex as part of the project — something Planner Robert Kornman suggested be reconsidered since the plan reduces housing in Warwick Township, which is in need of affordable rental properties.

Earlier in the day on March 28, Warwick Township Supervisors held their meeting, which had been postponed from March 21 due to a heavy snowstorm of up to 12 inches.
Supervisors approved a partial release of the letter of credit for Rock Lititz, Phase 1C. They also approved a request for Conner J. Holland 5k Run on July 14 which benefits families who have been affected by pediatric cancer. Supervisors acknowledged a $57,000 grant from the DEP for riparian forest buffer projects in Warwick Township and Lititz Borough. The grant money will be used to provide new riparian buffers, including fruit bearing trees that offer multiple benefits to the stream-side environment.

A public hearing has been scheduled for May 16 at 7 p.m. for adoption of the Forge the Future 2022 Plan, which has been developed to guide growth over the next five years. The plan covers transportation, economy, recreation, housing, agriculture, environment and other aspects of comprehensive planning for the Warwick area.

The concept began in 1999, when members of Lititz Borough and Warwick Township combined forces to develop a five- to ten-year vision for their communities. Since then, they have continued to meet every five years to develop strategies for their shared futures. More recently Elizabeth Township has joined forces to develop the Forge the Future 2022 comprehensive plan that will impact the region for the next five years.
Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

2 Comments

  1. Patricia Remetz

    April 4, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    What a darn shame for these homes I lived next to and had friends that lived in these homes. Kissel Hill needs another bank. Glad I moved away. Tho 918 will always be home to me.

  2. Sonya

    April 4, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Just how many banks do we need??

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