MILLBURN, NJ – The Township Zoning Board of Adjustment voted unanimously on Monday night to deny the application for a conditional use variance related to a 20-foot portion of land that stretches across the front of the proposed Stop & Shop property on Millburn Avenue.
Stop & Shop had been battling with both Millburn and Springfield townships for more than 15 years in an effort to build a supermarket on the former Saks Fifth Avenue site. The main property is in Springfield, but vehicles entering the parking lot from Millburn Avenue do so from Millburn.
“The applicant asked the board to decide if they had met the positive or negative criteria for the variances they had requested,” said board member Mary McNett. “We reviewed both the positive and negative criteria they had to meet, and all members on all the issues decided they had not met the criteria.”
“The deliberations were quite serious,” she said. “With a duty toward municipal land use law and the history of the application, it was quite something to be in that room for three hours with the legal focus being so clear.”
Whether this is the end of the Stop & Shop saga or not will depend on the applicants’ willingness to take the matter up with the Superior Court of New Jersey. For local residents, the issue of public safety and traffic congestion have been the foremost concerns.