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Tonelli’s Plans Under Review

Council will consider final approval for the new Horsham eatery on April 11.

Plans for a second are heading closer to fruition as Horsham Township Council reviewed the proposal Monday night.

Restaurant owner Chip Randa, who operates the existing Tonelli’s on Easton Road, came before council to outline his proposal for a he is planning for the defunct Moon Tavern on Horsham Road.  

The township Planning Commission gave its approval earlier this month at a meeting that drew criticism from some residents, who argued that the venue, and its development, would be a noisy addition to the neighborhood.

Many of those concerns have now been addressed, said engineering consultant Matthew Rutt.

The Planning Commission had expressed concerns about the lack of “streetscaping” near the front of the property. Rutt noted, however, that planting the recommended amount of shrubbery would cut down on existing parking, which would then need to be moved further back and closer to homes.

“It would be fine if we were a new development but it’s challenging in a situation like this with redevelopment,” Rutt said. “Thos stalls are in closest proximity to the entrance and we would then have to move parking back.”

The proposal will instead call for more greenery, in particular evergreen trees, to be outfitted along the back line, nearest the surrounding homes, that will also serve as a noise buffer.

Randa said he would like the trees “as far back as possible so that if, in the event of future expansion, the tress will already be there and grown.”

“This is something the residents were happy with because they would rather have the trees in the back to help block any noise,” said Township Manager Bill Walker.

A six-foot fence will be erected along the parking lot that will additionally function to contain noise. 

Council recommended restricting left-turns out of the western entrance so as to help control traffic flow, a proposal that Tonelli’s initially was not in favor of but with which they said they would comply. The council members considered additional changes that would limit the directional traffic into and out of the lot, but those would have required PennDOT approval and pushed back the timeline for the project.

Randa said residents were concerned that the Dumpster that will be used for construction not be emptied at inappropriate times, and he said it will only be serviced after 7 a.m.

The proposal also calls for the construction project to use only lights that are shielded with a downward throw and which will be positioned several hundred feet from the nearest residential property.

Council is expected to vote on the plan at its April 11 meeting. 

Mike F March 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM
"The township Planning Commission gave its approval earlier this month at a meeting that drew criticism from some residents, who argued that the venue, and its development, would be a noisy addition to the neighborhood." What neighborhood? The location is a former bar and is on Horsham Road amongst other businesses.
hatboro dad March 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM
It's also ridiculous to believe that evergreen trees actually reduce noise. Blocking noise requires a lot of mass
DLS March 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM
There is a beautiful neighborhood directly behind that property which will be adversely impacted by noise and lights. I am pleased to hear that Mr. Randa has made some concessions to maintain the quality of life for those residents.
Nerdy March 27, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Tonelli's will not be the Moon. The Moon was a noisy bar where people went to drink. Yes.... they served food but food was not the reason most people went there. Tonelli's is a family eatery first and I look forward to having someplace to go, besides Warrington or Blue Bell, for a nice family sports bar.
Lou of Horsham March 27, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Nerdy, not sure if you have eaten at Tonelli's lately but the service and quality of the food has changed dramatically for the worst in the last year or so. What used to be a very good experience has turn into hit or miss.. My thoughts are that the business increased and Chip has lost control the quality of his food and service.
J.R. sr March 27, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Actually, for sound absorption, softer textures are better at blocking sound, because, you don't actually want to block the sound, you want to ABSORB the sound. An echo is produced when sound, which travels in waves on air molecules, bounces of of something, hence why it seems quieter after a snowfall (the snow absorbs the sound waves), or in a sound studio, where they have the egg crate patterned sound absorbing panels affixed to the walls. Using just a little science, it is proven that evergreens (which never lose their foliage, like deciduous trees)would make for an excellent sound barrier.....
JHat March 27, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Agreed - what used to be a great menu with great food that was worth the higher price than neighboring pizza places now is a condensed, boring menu with few options. It appears almost like a chain than an independently owned restaurant anymore. My sister who lives in Florida used to go to Tonelli's first stop when visiting home, and after he last visit said she would not be going back because of the decreased quality of ingredients.
JC March 27, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Disagree-A condensed and boring menu? It's a pizza pub, what did you want to eat there? $12 is not expensive for a plain pie. I have been going there for years and the pizza is the same quality is has always been. I am interested in hearing the better alternatives in the Hatboro/Horsham area....
R. Johnson March 27, 2012 at 08:29 PM
There are little to none.... Mostly fast food, Italian & Chinese...thats about it. Get tired of eating chinese pizza... We need a good inexpensive steak or chop house in our area with or without a bar. We had a few years ago, but they've gone out to pasture for what we have now.
LSR77 of Horsham April 01, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Arrogance and ignorance took over what used to be a great place to go for pizza and cheesesteaks.
HarleyGirl04 April 01, 2012 at 10:34 PM
I agree that this business should be allowed to open, right now it's an eyesore...However I do agree that the food is not what it was 2 years ago..But I also know they are good people and help a lot with people who have hardships in the community and it's not something they advertise. They did something amazingly nice for one of my sons friends who were hit with a major hardship and no one knew about it like you do when other businesses call the news media and want it made public..I hope it can all be worked out. Everyone who is operating a legal business deserves a chance.
Chip Randa April 22, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Arrogance and ignorance is exactly what you suffer from LSR77 of Horsham if you think you know anything about what happened at Tonelli's over the past year. For the past 18 years no other restaurant owner has given back more to the community as much as my family has! One bad year and how quickly you forget that fact! Quite frankly, I am sick of all the trash talk about Tonelli's. The management team I had to put in place last year when I battled cancer has been let go and I have taken back complete control of Tonelli's personally. I have put in a new management team that works side by side with me on a daily basis. All the stuff removed from the menu is back on the menu and a new Menu release is almost ready. All portion sizes are back to the same huge portions you have come to expect. We have a new director of customer service who is quickly straightening out all issues encountered over the last year. I have instituted our new policy, The Finest in the Universe Guarantee or it's FREE! Tonelli's is back, I am back, and sales are surging! When the new Tonelli's opens on Horsham Rd. it will be nothing short of spectacular! Any problems or concerns....chip@tonellispizza.com!
BrianT April 22, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Well said Chip, I hope you are feeling better and I wish you and your new team the best.Your Red and White(Great White) pizza is the best.I know you give a lot back to Horsham and want you to know that you have my support.
Dolores Forget April 23, 2012 at 12:59 AM
I had no idea Chip, I wish you all the best. for a full recovery. You do a lot for the community, some of my favorite memories are Pizza with Santa with my kids -- in fact, we just packed a Tonelli's knit cap for a cold weekend down the shore.
lisa stief April 23, 2012 at 01:28 PM
junk yard fries are the digity bomb.

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