WESTFIELD, NJ — A years-long legal battle over the proposed expansion of Downtown Westfield’s Stop & Shop could be over by September, town attorney Russell Finestein told the Westfield Town Council during this week’s conference meeting.

A superior court judge’s decision in the summer of 2015 to dismiss the case against the expansion was appealed that August.

“After two years of waiting, we finally have oral arguments scheduled before the appellate division on May 16,” Finestein told the council Tuesday.

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In June 2015, many hoped that the legal battle fought for years over the expansion of the store had finally come to a close after Judge Karen Cassidy of the Superior Court of New Jersey affirmed the planning board’s decision to allow Stop & Shop to expand.

The plaintiff appealed just before the 45-day deadline.

Stop & Shop first filed its application with the planning board in August of 2012. In December 2013, The Westfield Planning Board approved Stop & Shop’s application for the demolition of existing office space, expansion of its parking lot and construction of an 18,129-foot addition, as well as multiple variances.

In March of 2014, James Hughes of Westfield, who Stop & Shop has claimed is merely a “straw man” for a competitor, filed his complaint.

“If it goes forward, it will be a big project for the town,” Finestein said.  “Mainly it was an attempt by Shop Rite to, I think, stop Stop & Shop from expanding.”

To read our previous story about the case, click here.

Stop & Shop is located at 219 Elm St. in Downtown Westfield.