By David Madden, Robin Rieger and Todd Quinones
CHERRY HILL, NJ (CBS) – Planners in Cherry Hill will meet Monday night and could vote on a plan to put one of those Super Wawa stores along Haddonfield Road, at the site of a former car dealership. Neighbors don’t like the idea.
Wawa does not need a zoning variance to put in a convenience store and several gas pumps on two acres, where Cherry Hill Toyota once stood. And Maureen Romero never expected the site to remain vacant. But, she says, “This is the highest impact use I can possibly think of for that location. (Open) 24/7 — never a day off — maybe Christmas, I don’t know.”
Residents fear it’ll create a lot of noise, not to mention traffic headaches and an increase in accidents on one of the town’s busier roads.
Wawa, in an e-mailed statement, says it has revised its overall plan based what it calls “positive and constructive feedback” to address many of the neighbors’ concerns and hopes to make the new store “a true community asset.”
But, apparently, they haven’t done enough for those like Romero. Between the store, the gas pumps and the fact it’ll never close.
“The amount of traffic that’s already on Haddonfield Road that are stopping and going, turning in and out of the Wawa and the noise generated from that, the car doors opening, radios, car alarms.”
Cherry Hill’s community development director, Paul Stridick, says Wawa will present new renderings Monday night that will address residents’ traffic concerns at one of two parking lot exits.
“Right turn only on Yale Avenue, so that way it’s virtually impossible for anyone to make a left hand turn into the neighborhood,” said Stridick .
He says Wawa has also addressed lighting concerns and increased the proposed buffer between the wawa and the residential properties to 25 feet. The meeting is a continuation of February’s planning board meeting that was packed with concerned residents. The board could vote on the proposal tonight.