Mercedes Benz looking at Chadds Ford

Mercedes Benz of West Chester is looking to move into Chadds Ford. The dealership is currently in Birmingham Township but is leasing the space and wants its own property.

Lou Colagreco, the attorney representing the dealership, presented a tentative plan Wednesday night to the township Planning Commission about a site along Route 202 just south of Brinton’s Bridge Road. The site includes the Leon Chetty property and one of the Eileen Lenz properties. In order to get approval for the proposed use, a zoning change from PBC to PBC-1 would be needed.

Three buildings are proposed, one of 50,000 square feet, a second of 20,000 square feet and the third of 10,000. The larger building would be for the main showroom and service area for standard vehicles, while the second building would be for commercial vehicles. The third would be used for high performace vehicles. According to the dealership’s Chris McGarity, Mercedes corporation requires 80,000 square feet for its dealerships.

Traffic engineer Nicole Kline said engineering industry standards indicate 1,000 vehicles in and out each day but added it would probably be less in reality. Ingress and egress would be right in/right out only, and customers test driving cars would be making only right-hand turns: right out onto Route 202 and down to Route 1, another right to Creek Road where they would make another right to Brinton’s Bridge and then back up to the dealership on 202.

Using the Chetty and Lenz properties, there would be some parking in an R-1 zoning district because of split zoning and a special exception would be needed from the Zoning Hearing Board. Commission Chairman Craig Huffman asked McGarity if there had been any discussions with Andy Variale and Susan Darrel about buying their properties.

Variale owns Enzo’s and Darrel has a house and antique shop, both properties are between the end of the Lenz property and the corner at Brinton’s Bridge and Route 202. Huffman said buying those properties could eliminate the need for parking in the R-1 zone and the need for the special exception.

McGarity said having access to the corner “would be advantageous,” but added that it could be costly.

Nothing was finalized and there was no vote. The applicant will be back for another meeting after checking with the other property owners.

Other business

The commission also heard an application from Michelle Parker, the veterinarian who owns Glen Mills Veterinary Hospital on Route 202 — 1785 Wilmington Pike. Parker wants to put on an addition that would add three more examination rooms and add some additional parking.

The plan would require increased sewer capacity, so she has to go to the sewer Authority before the Planning Commission can vote on a possible recommendation. Were it not for the added sewer needs, Huffman said, there would be no problem from a planning standpoint.

The commission didn’t have a meeting in January, so it had its reorganization session prior to the start of its regular meeting. Huffman was re-elected chairman and Valerie Hoxter was elected vice chairman. Tammy Maciolek was officially appointed Planning Commission secretary.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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