Somerton residents voiced their opinions about a potential Royal Farms opening in the area.
The Somerton Civic Association last week held a meeting that included the possibility of a Royal Farms opening in its neighborhood, a free training session in hands-only CPR, upcoming board elections and other updates from local officials.
Lawyer Jeffrey M. Herskowitz, of Melbourne Associates, spoke to the civic association, asking for its input on the possibility of opening a Royal Farms at 10101–15 Bustleton Ave. A Goodwill store operates at that specific location, but with its lease expiring in approximately a year, the owner of the property is looking to possibly bring in a Royal Farms. The group has not filed for permits yet, but wanted to open a dialogue with neighbors.
Royal Farms is a privately owned company headquartered in Baltimore that operates approximately 180 stores throughout Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to Herskowitz.
The stores provide food and operate as a gas station. Royal Farms recently opened its first Philadelphia location at 2501 Church St., right off of Aramingo Avenue.
Herskowitz showed the civic what the intended layout of the business would look like.
One of the major concerns members of the civic association expressed was the size of the business. Herskowitz explained it would not be as large in size as the Royal Farms located on Church Street and would fit appropriately on the Bustleton Avenue corner. He also believes it will cause less traffic than a fast food restaurant because there is no drive through. The space would have 55 parking spots for patrons.
Like the other Philadelphia location, this Royal Farms would intend to be operating 24/7 and provide some inside seating for food. The gas station would have a total of 10 pumps; five columns with two gas pumps on each.
A member of the civic association questioned the entrance from Red Lion Road, believing it would be too narrow, but Herskowitz stated the company hopes to work with the city to make it wider.
The business would intend to employ approximately 60 people, mostly part time. The civic association and Herskowitz plan to continue the dialogue.
In other news:
• A zoning matter that was on the agenda for 10847 Rennard St. was continued when the owner did not show up. The owner is seeking a variance to make it multifamily.
• A motion was made to have a vote at the next meeting on raising the price of dues for the civic association from $5 a year to a higher price. The member who put forth the motion requested this because of the current Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation issue.
- The Mobile CPR Project provided a free hands-only CPR training session and showed the proper use of AED devices. ••
John Cole can be reached at JCole@bsmphilly.com