Parking a concern for Shillington Farmers Market's new owner

CUMRU TWP., Pa. - Parking was a topic of discussion at the Cumru Township commissioners's meeting Wednesday night.

Local business owner Hamid Chaudhry addressed the commissioners about parking for one of his most recent business endeavors, the Shillington Farmers Market on Lancaster Avenue.

Since buying the market, Chaudhry has increased vendor occupancy at the market from 50 percent to 90 percent.

Chaudhry said he is concerned there is not enough parking for market visitors. His parking lot accounts for 95 spaces. He requested the commissioners open up areas on South Summit Avenue for street parking.

Township Manager Jeanne Johnston revealed that Shillington Commons, a nearby apartment complex, also made the same request to account for overflow parking. 

She added that parking was originally eliminated on that street due to it being a snow emergency route and for driveways opening onto the road, adding that there would be no way to designate the street parking as anything other than a public space.

While Chaudry expressed worry that not increasing parking would result in a "choking of economics in Cumru Township," Commissioner Sheri Hoover remained steadfast in her concern for the safety of those entering and exiting existing driveways.

Commissioner Ruth O'Leary wondered if patrons would end up parking in the Giant store parking lot and walking over to the farmers market. Chaudhry has not yet attempted a negotiation with Giant.

The board ultimately requested Chaudhry talk to Giant first, as they recently reviewed that road for the purpose of parking and declined to do so.

In other business, police Chief Madison Winchester reported a local increase in check frauds cases. He has already spoken with District Attorney John Adams regarding prevention and solutions.

In the area of law enforcement, the board approved the renewal of a 2015 agreement for a DUI enforcement project, allowing the police department to enter into multi-jurisdictional DUI enforcement activities.

Parking violations will also cost more in Cumru Township. A motion was passed to raise the parking fine from $15 to $20. 

The board will begin a series of budget meetings beginning Thursday, October 19, at 5:30 p.m.

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