SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – The Scotch Plains Township council unanimously approved the redevelopment plan that would mean the departure of the landmark Snuffy’s Pantagis Renaissance (250 Park Ave.) and the arrival of a Lidl supermarket.
The plan for the 5.5-acre Snuffy’s property includes a 7,600 sq. ft. building that could house three retail establishments and will create a park-and-ride lot of 51 spaces that would help Scotch Plains obtain “transit village” designation.
Township planner Michael Mistretta presented an updated site plan that included am architectural rendering of how the supermarket would look. The building would be positioned more towards Pinehurst Ave. and Mountain Ave., while Snuffy’s current building on Park Ave. would be demolished and replaced with the park-and-ride spots.
Scotch Plains Redevelopment Coordinator Thomas Strowe called the park-and-ride lot an “integral part” of the overall redevelopment plan for the Township and could open the door for grants. On Sept. 11, the Redevelopment Committee approved the plan and sent it to the Council for a vote on Sept. 17. Strowe said the Township was not involved in the choice of Lidl as the supermarket ("It’s a private matter in which the Township has not right to intercede.")
Strowe said the adoption of the redevelopment plan and having the ability to walk to a grocery store and get bus service would improve property values.
“The adoption of the redevelopment plan would… enhance economic development, improve the quality of life for the community, and serve as a catalyst of future private investment in downtown,” Strowe told the Council.
Lidl, a German-based chain plans to build a 29,000 sq. ft. supermarket foot store that would be the first grocery store to operate in Scotch Plains in decades and could create up to 100 jobs.
Mountain Ave. Gas Station Rezoning Request Voted Down
Additionally, the Council voted against an ordinance that would have changed the zoning designation for the gas station property (2650 Route 22 East) where Mountain Ave. and Route 22 converge. Currently, the gas station is located in an R3 residential zone, and the ordinance would have changed its designation to a B-3 Highway Business zone.
Residents took to the mic during the public comment portion of the meeting to encourage the Council to reject the rezoning. They have concerns about what the owner would do with the property if it were to be rezoned. Some opponents to the gas station rezoning also led the charge several years ago to block a proposed WaWa at the Sanguiliano property at the intersection of Route 22 and Glenside Ave.
The vote was somewhat unusual vote in its bipartisan split; Mayor Smith (R) and Deputy Mayor Josh Losardo (D) voted in favor of the ordinance, while Elizabeth Stamler (D), Ted Spera (R), and Roc White (D) voted against it.
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