Tunkhannock Ford received a green light on its plans to move its operations to Eaton Township.
During a conditional use hearing Tuesday night (May 8) that coincided with the township’s regular monthly meeting, Eaton Township supervisors voted unanimously on the side of Tunkhannock Ford with certain conditions.
Matt and Dave Pompey purchased 26 acres of property next to Creekside Gardens earlier this year with plans to build a larger facility for their Ford dealership, which is presently housed on East Tioga Street in Tunkhannock across from Sherwood Chevrolet.
The Pompeys also own Tunkhannock Auto Mart and Scranton Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM under Pompey Automotive Group.
A conditional use hearing was necessary because the size of the proposed 20,800 square foot building is not in conformity with the Eaton Township zoning ordinance.
The Tunkhannock Ford dealership in Eaton Township will include a showroom, maintenance facility and sales yard.
At this time, the property is being used for storage of vehicles owned by the Pompeys.
Dave Pompey was present at the hearing along with Attorney David Chuff and Robert Naegele of the consulting engineering firm Colwell-Naegele Associates, who went over plans for the property.
The building height is roughly 25 feet right now, Naegele said, and while this may change to allow for more clearance, Eaton Township allows for a maximum height of 50 feet.
Bowmans Creek runs along the backside of the property, where the floodplain area is mostly contained.
A Penelec line goes through the site, but Naegele said the company has agreed to reroute it.
There’s enough parking for customers coming to shop for vehicles and Tunkhannock Ford employees, as well as the display vehicles, totalling around 180 spaces and surpassing the required 84, he said.
Preliminary plans for septic areas and drainage also came up.
Naegele said those behind the project understand they will need to include a backup septic area, as two on site will be unusable after development.
Drainage from Route 29 would flow towards Bowmans Creek.
“We’ll be taking that drainage and keeping the same general flow path and collecting it in two extension basins, which will be regulated by DEP,” he said.
As for landscaping, Naegele said adjoining properties will be separated with trees and shrubs, and they are open to suggestions.
Other areas such as security, noise and handicapped access were covered in a narrative submitted to the township by those behind the project, Naegele noted.
After a Q&A period with the township supervisors and the public, Chuff spoke of the Pompeys, calling them local businessmen who want to bring more business into the area.
“They want to be good neighbors. I think they already are good neighbors, and they intend to present a plan and develop this property in a manner which is in harmony with the existing surrounding area and consistent with the goals and objectives of the Eaton Township ordinance and the overall comprehensive plan,” he said.
The township supervisors went into executive session afterward to discuss granting conditional use of the space.
Tunkhannock Ford may move forward with its plans, provided that mature trees are incorporated into the landscaping to create a solid barrier between the dealership and nearby properties.
Lighting not necessary for security or emergency purposes needs to be shut off by 11 p.m.
In regard to the intersection and entranceway, PennDOT may have requirements that need to be followed as well, and the project must comply with any environmental requirements.
Dave Pompey and his associates in attendance agreed with these terms.