A plan to build a Dunkin’ Donuts at the busy “Five Points” intersection in Wrightstown brought residents worried about the proposal to the Monday evening meeting of the township’s board of supervisors.
Locals’ concerns centered on potential issues from stormwater runoff and traffic related to the fast food and coffee-serving establishment proposed for an approximately 1.7-acre lot at 811 Durham Road (Route 413). That’s near the Penn Community Bank by the intersection of Route 413, Route 232 and Park Avenue – a traffic-heavy spot sometimes referred to as “Five Points.”
Speaking Monday, residents of Park Avenue said they’re anxious that the increased impervious surface for the Dunkin’ building and its related parking lot will exacerbate already problematic flooding issues on their road.
Relatedly, they’re worried about a plan that calls for routing stormwater from the site to a discharge point on Park.
Residents said drainage infrastructure on the road is often overwhelmed in times of heavy and/or persistent rain – an increasingly common occurrence in recent years.
One homeowner said that her property is being “destroyed” by flooding that already occurs. If the Dunkin’ is built, she’s worried things will only get worse.
“I’m the dumping zone,” she said.
Jeffrey Beavan, engineer for would-be Dunkin’ developer AAA Development New Hope LLC, said that stormwater controls – a basin, rain garden and an erosion/surface water control improvement known as a level spreader – would be put in place so that the runoff will not accelerate.
In fact, the rate of runoff leaving the site would be lower than what it is today, said Beavan.
“It’s not going to solve the existing condition, but it’s not going to make it worse,” Beavan said.
Traffic is a key concern too. Motorists turning in and out of Dunkin’ could make congestion and driving conditions worse, especially during rush hour at the bustling intersection, residents said.
“There are already extensive traffic difficulties that cause cars to cut through our neighborhoods and through the other businesses on the corner,” a resident wishing to remain anonymous said in an email to the Herald prior to the meeting.
Professionals for AAA said they are working on a revised development plan that will address township concerns on stormwater, traffic and related issues, including waiver requests. Once that plan is complete, AAA could then seek approval from supervisors to build the Dunkin’, which could include a drive-thru.
The township’s zoning board has already granted variances from local zoning that open the door for the Dunkin’ to be established. Variances are exceptions from zoning rules that allow an owner or developer to use a property in a way not usually permitted by the local zoning ordinance.