But with the development of that interchange, Country Settings Development Group owner Jim Delcane believes it’s time to develop some kind of business to take advantage of the current and potential traffic in that area.
On Thursday night, the Galloway Township Zoning Board of Adjustment agreed.
The board voted unanimously to approve a use variance that would allow for commercial use in that area.
Since 1986, the area has been zoned for hotels and restaurants in that area. Since 1986, there has been no development of either along that stretch.
Those requesting the use variance argued this is due to the lack of sewer and water in the area. Architect Harry Harper cited these as the reasons the Carriage House chose not to develop in the area, prior to settling on its current location near the intersection of Jimmie Leeds Road and Moss Mill Road.
According to Delcane, he’s had no discussion with any developer to build in that area, and he would consider developing in that area himself. He said the area was perfect for retail shopping or a convenience store/gas station.
“It would be a great place for a bookstore, clothing store or gas station,” Delcane said. “We think we’d be able to attract businesses if the usage was already in place. We think the interchange will draw interest.”
Construction on the interchange, first proposed in 2011, recently began. The restaurant at the current rest stop is currently closed.
“With this being my last day as a Stockton student, I can say it definitely makes sense to have this concept,” Zoning Board Member Chris Coleman said. “This presentation illustrates the need, and shows it’s reasonable and feasible.”
While it remains unclear what would be constructed in that area, all proposed types of buildings meet the setback and building dimension requirements. The largest possible building is a 12,000 square-foot retail store.
“I spoke with some neighbors (following the October zoning
board meeting), and after seeing our plan, they were put at ease,” Delcane
He told the resident who lived closest to the proposed project that they would put in an additional 30 feet of woods to separate the properties.
The next step is to put the project out on the market. Once an initial site plan is in place, Delcane will return to the Zoning Board for approval.