As a result of its denied application for a zoning variance for a combination gas station/convenience store, First Choice Plaza has sued the Hopewell Township Zoning Board of Adjustment.

MercerMe covered the ongoing application, which has proposed a Wawa or QuickChek convenience store / gas station combination at 2421 Pennington Rd, Pennington, New Jersey (Hopewell Township), on the corner of Route 31 South and Denow Road.

The application, presented to the zoning board in July of last year, proposed a 5,496 square foot QuickChek convenience store with a 5,000 square foot canopied fuel service station (3 islands with a total of 5 pumps under cover).

And, at a special zoning board meeting in October of 2014, the zoning board completed hearing the application testimony and issued a resolution denying the application on a variety of bases including traffic and wastewater management concerns. First Choice Plaza argues, in its complaint, that the zoning board exercised its decision in an arbitrary manner and on the basis that was beyond the purview of the zoning board.

First Choice Plaza is under contract to purchase the property from Har Sinai Hebrew Congregation of the City of Trenton. The property is currently zoned “SI” (Special Industrial) which allows for gas stations but not a convenience store. The applicant, First Choice Plaza, LLC, seeks to subdivide the 9.4 acre parcel to use about 4 acres for the QuickChek project that would include a convenience store and service station. The remaining 5.4 acres would continue to serve as a house of worship and religious school for Har Sinai.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, and a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, photographing mushrooms, and misguided adventures in random hobbies. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), serves on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance, and holds the elected position as the Hopewell Borough Democratic Committee Municipal Chairwoman.