Pennsauken Board Blocks Supermarket

Posted: July 23, 1997

PENNSAUKEN — In a move that effectively blocks a controversial proposal to build a supermarket on Maple Avenue, the Planning Board last night voted unanimously to change the property's zoning to a mixture of residential and light commercial.

The zoning change, which planning officials said would be reviewed tonight by the Township Committee, would leave open the possibility of building strip stores along Maple Avenue but would prohibit the large-scale supermarket the Pennsylvania-based Goldenberg Group had proposed.

``This ordinance makes that strip consistent with the nature of the neighborhood,'' said David Luthman, solicitor to the Planning Board.

Under the recommended change, an area 125 feet back from Maple Avenue, toward the rear of the 12-acre tract, would be zoned for light commercial use. The rest of the tract would be zoned residential.

Currently the entire property, which is owned by Rice & Holman, is zoned for commercial use.

The Township Committee will have the final say and has the ability to accept or amend the resolution from the Planning Board.

Last night's vote made members of a group called PARTNERs - People Assigned to Represent Township Neighbors, Entrepreneurs and Residents - very happy. The group had voiced opposition to the building of an 80,000-square-foot shopping center, anchored by a 54,000-square-foot Super Fresh. The group said such a large-scale development would bring too much traffic and noise to the residential community surrounding the site and could be dangerous for many young children who live in the area.

``We were never opposed to a development of that area,'' said Harry Neidig, a member of PARTNERs. ``We just wanted something that was consistent with the neighborhood and that would not negatively impact our community. Bottom line is: We're happy.''

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