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Source: Springfield Sun
Date: January 12, 2001
Byline: Chris Lilienthal

Zoning meeting slated concerning Black Horse Village development

Hearings before the Springfield Township Zoning Board are slated to continue Jan. 29 on the proposed Black Horse Village development at Bethlehem Pike and Bysher Avenue in Flourtown. The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. in the township building.

Hearings on the current Black Horse proposal began in late October 2000. Hampton Real Estate Group presented a plan for the unified development of two lots on Bethlehem Pike, where the 280-year-old Black Horse Tavern and the LCB Liquor Store now stand.

The proposal would raze the tavern, relocate the liquor store to a larger building at the rear of the property, put a Roxborough/Manayunk Savings Bank in the liquor store's place and construct a CVS pharmacy in the center of the lot facing Bethlehem Pike.

Over the course of the two nights of hearings in October, three witnesses, called by Hampton's attorney, Neil Stein, testified on matters of architecture and planning, transportation issues and land use. Solicitor Joseph Bagley represented the township at the hearings, while more than 25 residents and community members questioned the witnesses.

The Black Horse property is located in two zoning districts, B1-Business and C-Residential, which would put part of the CVS and all of the liquor store in a residentially zoned area.

Hampton is seeking relief from the zoning ordinance to permit office and retail space in the C-Residential District and to permit the extension of a less restrictive district to a more restrictive district. It is also seeking relief on matters of minimum parking spaces and parking lot construction.

The Jan. 29 hearing will include more testimony, including witnesses called by Bagley.

The zoning board will make a decision after all witnesses testify and public comment.

As board Chairman Daniel Clifford said at the closing of the October hearing, it is not a decision the board will make lightly.