Car dealers and musical chairs

It's a bit like musical chairs for several Piazza Auto Group dealerships.

Adam Brower, representing the Piazza group, asked Birmingham Township supervisors Monday night for a waiver from land development requirements regarding Piazza Acura's need to expand its showroom. Supervisors declined the waiver, saying they want the township engineer to review plans for the renovation — which would add 2,760 square feet to the showroom, according to Bower.

Brower called the change a "bumping out" of the showroom, squaring it off and bringing the front a little closer to Route 202, and adding a little more impervious coverage to the site. The site is well below the impervious coverage limit, but he added that the work includes adding two islands with plantings that would offset some of the impervious increase.

That bump-out would square off the front of the building and extending it slightly.

"The biggest bump out is 10 feet," he told supervisors during their Feb. 1 meeting conducted via Zoom. "It's making it a uniform front…This is just the showroom, so we're not introducing a new service area." He also said that the parking would be realigned.

The discussion concerning why the showroom needs to change and what happens next sounded much like a play by play of the famous children's party game.

Piazza has four dealerships along Route 202, Alpha Romeo, Hyundai, Mazda, and Acura, plus a Jaguar dealership on West Chester Pike.

Brower said Acura requires all its dealerships to have a uniform look, a trend in the industry. A similar renovation was already done at the Mazda dealership next door to the Acura dealership.

After the renovations, the dealerships will be changing locations.

"Mazda is currently under construction," Brower said, "so they're in the Hyundai dealership, temporarily, south of Mazda. This [the Acura location] will become the Land Rover/Jaguar dealership currently on Route 3 in Westtown. We're looking to bring that here. As soon as Mazda moves back into their building, we would move, temporarily, the Acura to the Hyundai dealership while this is under construction."

He considered the multiple movements to be akin to leapfrog or hopscotch.

Other business

Supervisors accepted a bid by Innovative Construction for the 2021 Road Program. Innovative's bid of $217,369 was less than the $248,000 the township had budgeted for road repairs and was the lowest of six bids. The high bid was more than $322,000.

The board approved two appointments to Birmingham's Recreation, Parks, and Open Space Commission. They appointed Brian Bonkowski to serve for the remainder of this year and Kathleen Brecker to serve through 2023.

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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