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.