The attorney representing the developer proposing a Wawa convenience store and gas station, as well as a quick-serve restaurant, at the corner of Route 70 and Duquesne Boulevard said his client has cut off access to the neighborhood from his plan.
Earlier this year, the planning board failed to approve an application containing the same three stores after residents of the Lake Riviera neighborhood said the businesses would create extra traffic in their neighborhood. The board voted 4-3 in favor of the plan, but lacked the “supermajority” required to grant a use variance, meaning the vote failed to garner enough support.
Now, John Jackson, attorney for Brick 70 Developers LLC, says access to North Lake Shore Drive, and thus the remainder of Lake Riviera, has been cut out of the plan. Vehicles will only be able to access the stores from Route 70 itself. He provided an outline of the site plan to Shorebeat.
“That was one of the main concerns, and we eliminated that, which I think makes this a dramatically different application,” said Jackson.
Because the developers never appealed the board’s decision in court, the current application is considered an entirely new case, rather than a continuation of the old one.
Additionally, Jackson said, a private plot of residential land adjacent to the proposed store was purchased by the developer’s principals. That plot of land was owned, through inheritance, by a North Jersey criminal defense attorney, who loudly battled with Jackson, board members and the attorney representing the board, taking hours to cross-examine witnesses.
Also, as was often mentioned at the previous hearings, Jackson said all of the improvements included in the proposal, are located in nonresidential zones.
The new plan should alleviate some concerns of neighbors, he said.
“The concern of most of the people in the Lake Riviera neighborhoods were afraid people would flow to this Wawa through their neighborhood,” said Jackson. “With this new plan, all the traffic would have to come off of Route 70. I don’t think it invites people to travel through the neighborhood.”
The meeting for the new proposal will begin at 7 p.m., Dec. 6 at the township municipal complex.