Charles Kahn, a commercial Realtor for the applicant, said the Mobil station that occupies the corner of the tract has been zoned highway business. He said that the gas station had had an adverse effect on the surrounding property, which is zoned for residential use, and had made the surrounding property unsuitable for single-family housing.
"It would be an economic disaster for single-family zoning to be put on the location," Kahn said.
Kahn read from a traffic-impact survey, conducted by the applicant, that said the new businesses would not generate any new traffic. The survey concluded that the 25 houses that could be built on the tract would generate only new traffic to the already busy area.
Acton said the applicant was not trying to break the zoning, but to prove that the zoning was deficient and should be changed to allow highway business.
Planning commission member Ron McKnight said the borough's 1972 Comprehensive Plan said the Gniewek tract should be earmarked for office and apartments and that zoning changes would decrease the potential of the property, changing the market value of the commercial district.
Edmund Haigler, owner of the adjoining three-acre tract on North York Road, said he was opposed to the KFC plan.
William Plunkett, a resident of North York Road, also was opposed to the application. He said allowing businesses on the property "would bring Warminster across the street" with a complete strip of businesses stretching down the road.
The Borough Council hearing for the application is set for March 17 in Borough Hall.