CVS came to town, was told to go home, which is where they should stay…permanently.
On March 30th, CVS presented its case for a full blown 24/7 convenience store with drive-thru pharmacy to the Hopewell Township Zoning Board. The proposed CVS lacked for nothing: 15,000 sq. ft., 24/7 operation on the corner of Rt. 31 N and Ingleside Ave, drive-thru pharmacy, oversized signage and lighting, 60 parking spaces, 1.5 acres of impervious surface. Only a few problems: it’s in a residential zone; has its drive-thru, loading zone and trash station about 25 feet from the adjacent residence; is not a permitted use, and doesn’t comply with the Township’s zoning ordinances.
CVS witnesses were not able to support their own application. The CVS corporate rep presented the glossy version of the application but withered under cross examination by the attorney for local residents. The Board Chair stopped the cross examination saying that the objector’s attorney had clearly demonstrated that the CVS corporate witness did not know the factual basis for his own testimony. The Board Chair also admonished CVS’s project engineer who, after testifying for 30 minutes on the site plan, pleaded ignorance of information plainly shown on the very same site plan. The CVS witnesses were either woefully ignorant or willfully duplicitous, perhaps both.
The Board was clearly irritated that CVS totally ignored the Township’s Zoning Ordinances and so were the concerned residents who packed the large room to overflow. The CVS presentation was so poor they asked for a two month adjournment for a major “do over” which was reluctantly granted by the Board.
CVS is not stupid, just arrogant. CVS likely presented the full blown corporate prototype of a 15,00 sq. ft. 24/7 convenience store with drive-thru pharmacy knowing full well that it did not conform to local zoning. CVS wanted to see what they could get away with, and learned, not much.
CVS should return to their corporate headquarters and stay there. If they doubt for one minute the commitment of the residents who oppose the project, they should look at a road map and trace Interstate 95 from Maine to Florida. They will find one missing link… in Hopewell Township, NJ. Concerned Citizens Against CVS in Hopewell & Pennington has the same resolve in opposing the CVS that our neighbors did in successfully opposing I-95 many years ago, and we have an even stronger case.
CVS should not return. If they do, the Hopewell Township Zoning Board should deny their application with prejudice.