Civil Engineer Testifies on Stop & Shop Application Before Millburn Zoning Board

Engineer Michael Fowler shows plans for the proposed Super Stop & Shop on Millburn Avenue. Credits: Patricia Harris

MILLBURN, NJ - A civil engineer who helped design the proposed Super Stop & Shop store on Millburn Avenue appeared before Millburn’s Zoning Board of Adjustment Monday night.

Michael Fowler of Langan Engineering and Environmental Services described the site plan for the former Saks Fifth Avenue property.

ARC of Millburn, owner of the property, has already received approval for the new store from the Springfield Planning Board. Although most of the property lies in Springfield, a 20 foot strip along Millburn Avenue belongs to Millburn Township.

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The company is seeking a conditional use variance needed to construct two access drives into the property.

The site plan, last revised in 2008, provides for a 69,000 square foot building, which is smaller than the vacant Saks store but in the same location. Two access drives on Millburn Avenue are proposed, with the westerly one realigned so as to not conflict with Baltusrol Way across the roadway. A traffic signal is to be installed on Millburn Avenue to control customer traffic at that point.

The easterly drive will be reserved for truck deliveries. Left turns from Millburn Avenue into the driveway will be prohibited, as will right turns out of the driveway.

The side of the new building will have a sign that will be lit when the four loading docks at the side of the building are full. Trucks will be directed to continue to their next stop, Fowler said.

Twenty parallel parking spaces on Millburn Avenue in front of the building are to be retained, although at the suggestion of the Millburn Police Department, 11 of those will be widened by a foot.

The sidewalk in front of the building will be 9 feet wide and 5 inches thick. The landscaping plan calls for removing six trees and replanting 12 street trees.

No Millburn utilities will be affected by the project, according to the engineer.

Some sharp words were exchanged when board member David Lane sought more information about the trucks that would be coming into the docks.

Gail Price, the applicant’s attorney, indicated that Springfield has already reviewed and approved those plans.

"I don’t think it’s an inappropriate question,” said board member Roger Manshel. “There are things here that are going to affect our residents.”

He later expanded on that thought, noting,“It’s our traffic.”

Lane chimed in, telling Price, “You need to be less dismissive.”

Price then responded, “I don’t mean to be dismissive. I can answer your questions. I’m here already.”

About 35 residents attended the session.

Stop & Shop plans to bring a traffic engineer to the next hearing.

The parent company of Stop & Shop, Royal Ahold, first applied to Springfield to build a supermarket on the site about 15 years ago. Since then, many court battles have ensued.

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