Wawa versus 380 Maple West: No contest. 2/5/2019

Posted on February 5, 2019

This post is not yet finished.  I hope to finish it tonight. eventually.

Thank goodness for Wawa. 

I’m sure the folks directly behind Wawa don’t share that sentiment.  But just consider this:  If Wawa hadn’t taken that space, we might have gotten another 380 Maple West.  And I would bet that, given the choice, the neighbors would rather have Wawa than 380 Maple West in their back yard.

I have spent a lot of time looking in detail at MAC proposals.  The first thing that struck me about the Wawa proposal was the abundance of green space and trees.  Green space that you, the citizen, can walk right up to and enjoy.  Green space that’s not surrounded by a wall or fence, or literally enclosed in the building.   Trees whose canopies will (apparently by zoning law) cover at least 10 percent of the lot.

But wait?  As part of her strenuous efforts in support of 444 Maple West, didn’t the Town’s Director of Planning and Zoning talk about how terrible C1 zoning was, and how vastly better things would be for the citizens with MAC zoning?  Hmmm.

So, what am I missing.  What gives?  How does the Wawa stack up, from a citizen’s perspective, relative to 380 Maple West?  Just on the facts.

As it turns out, this is a fairly easy comparison, because the lot for the Wawa and the lot for 380 Maple West are virtually identical in size (37,554 square feet for Wawa, 36,842 for the 380 Maple West lot).  And they are roughly the same shape, with the Wawa lot (left) being just a bit more irregular than the nearly-perfectly-rectangular 380 Maple West lot (right).

One other difference, that I will ignore for now, is that the Wawa lot literally backs to the lot of a single-family home, whereas 380 Maple West backs to a narrow road (Glen Ave) with single-family homes across the road.

The rest of this article will be a head-to-head comparison between the Wawa (built under the long-standing C1 zoning) and 380 Maple West (built under MAC zoning).