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Nockamixon Township supervisors mull Wehrung’s Home Center move from Tinicum


A proposed change in operations by the Wehrung Group’s Lumber and Home Center, from its primary location on Route 611 in the Tinicum part of Ottsville to one of its satellite locations, the Wehrung’s Specialty Woods unit up the road in the Nockamixon part of Ottsville, is being evaluated by Nockamixon Township for potential impact on traffic, environmental, and other concerns.

At its Dec. 19 public meeting, Nockamixon’s board of supervisors considered what is a permitted use, under its zoning law, in a conditional use hearing, and then approved it for further consideration in the land development process, subject to certain conditions.

Representatives of the popular retailer noted the present request for warehouse additions was only for “phase 1” of the change, with a further change, to include establishment of a showroom at the Nockamixon location, to be “a few years down the road.”

Wehrung’s has been at the Ottsville-Tinicum location since 1986, when it changed from only a contractor supply store, across Durham Road, to a full-service lumberyard and home center. In addition to its presence as a business, Wehrung’s is active in the community as a host for semiannual prescription drug takebacks, a major supporter of the Palisades School District, and other activities.

The present proposal features adding three 12,000-square-foot warehouses to the Nockamixon location, “to enable larger in-stock options for existing products,” thereby creating “less need to order out-of-stock items,” with subsequent less delivery needs, especially as related to the company’s desire “to get cabinet operations out of” the Tinicum location. The future showroom would be 20,640 square feet.

There would be an increase of two 53-foot semi-trailer truck deliveries, to the present 32-40 per week, and the elimination of box truck deliveries, with total truck deliveries expected to basically remain static.

During the hearing, a contractor from Revere noted a potential benefit of less travel than presently needed to reach the Ottsville-Tinicum location. There would be no change in operating hours at the Nockamixon location, or any increase in the 18 employees there.

Wehrung’s Specialties is located on the west side of Route 611, just south of the Harrow Station commercial development at the intersection of Routes 611 and 412. The township’s Planning Commission had already objected to new temporary access from Tower Road, which is at the first signal south of the intersection, and permanent access later, so the plan has already been modified to direct access from Route 611.

The township’s Environmental Advisory Council has expressed concern about maintaining adequate buffers, and related stormwater considerations, for Rapp Creek, which is an Exceptional Value Stream (EVS), and for a tributary to Tohickon Creek, which is being promoted as an EVS.

Also at the Dec. 19 meeting, supervisors welcomed their new solicitor, Ernest “Bucky” Closser of Curtin & Heefner LLP in Doylestown. He replaces Jordan Yeager, who was recently elected to the county Court of Common Pleas. Yeager had served since 2008.

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