Taco Bell eyes Concord location

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Taco Bell wants to build a restaurant in Regency Plaza on the north side of Route 1 in Concord Township.

Taco Bell is looking to open a restaurant in Concord Township’s Regency Plaza on the north side of Route 1. The township held a conditional use hearing on the matter Tuesday night. Council made no decision during the My 7 session. Rather, council members continued the hearing to 6:15 p.m. on June 4 after the applicant goes to the Zoning Hearing Board.

The restaurant chain wants to open in a vacant area of the plaza between the CVS and Citadel Credit Union. Taco Bell is asking for a drive-through and a 90-square-foot patio for outdoor seating, but there will be no outdoor service. There will be seating for 52 people inside.

Conditional use approval is needed for a “fast food” restaurant in that location and for outdoor dining. The applicant is also seeking relief from a parking requirement. Township code calls for 37 parking spaces, but the restaurant is proposing 30.

Other business

During the regular meeting, Concord Township Council voted to approve an application by Encompass Health to construct a two-story, 50-bed in-patient rehabilitation center on the site of the former Concordville Inn. The approval comes with 18 conditions and includes two waivers and six variances. One waiver and variance are the same, allowing a structure of more than 30,000 square feet of floor area. Most of the conditions dealt with complying with all professional comments but included one requiring Encompass to get land development approval for any future construction or expansion on the site.

Council enacted an ordinance to install a four-way stop sign on Evergreen Drive where it intersects with an entrance to the Concordville Town Centre and Terrain’s southern driveway.

Laura Williams, the warden at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility, Delaware County’s prison, gave council a brief update on the facility. She reported the prison’s last inspection by the state Department of Corrections revealed no deficiencies, and that the prison was in “full compliance.”

“There had previously been some areas of noncompliance, but we implemented some capital improvement projects as well as an increase in safety measures. We received full accreditation from the National Commission of Correctional Healthcare, which means that we well exceed the minimum standards for healthcare within a public agency,” she said.  That accreditation holds up for three years, she added.

While the prison is still 10 percent short of full employment, Williams said staffing has improved. “That’s much better than the 40 percent vacancy we had before [the county] took over management and ownership.” The prison had been privately owned and operated until two years ago.

Council President Dominic Pileggi, citing last summer’s incident in Chester County when a convicted murderer escaped from the prison in Pocopson, asked about notifications and alerts from the prison. He said they used to get test alerts often, but there had been none in a long time.

Williams said the county has transitioned to a new alert system and there will be “outreach” to the municipalities near the prison, specifically Concord and Thornbury. Chadds Ford would also be included. Even if the prison doesn’t send out an alert, the county will, she added.

The prison had been privately owned and operated until two years ago. It houses an average of 1,200 inmates per day.

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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