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Former Friendly’s on Blackwood Clementon Road: Marijuana Dispensary Proposed

Former Friendly’s on Blackwood Clementon Road: Marijuana Dispensary Proposed
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The former Friendly’s restaurant building on Blackwood Clementon Road in Gloucester Township is proposed to become a Cannabis Dispensary.

The Gloucester Township Zoning Board will hear a presentation on August 10th. The applicant is requesting a full approval for the project at this time.

The building sits in the front of the parking lot of Commerce Plaza II (which is slated to become a Giant Fitness Gym)

The former Friendly’s sits close to the property corner of Blackwood Clementon Road and Millbridge Road.

There appears to be ample parking surrounding the Friendly’s building.

A Marijuana Dispensary is being proposed for the former Friendly’s building on Blackwood-Clementon Rd in Gloucester Township

In recent weeks crews have been on-site at the building. Initially they were simply gutting the interior. I checked with the town a few weeks ago and at the time they only had an interior demolition permit.

The visible activity and dumpster on-site started the messages and comments to 42Freeway “Hey, what’s going on at the Friendly’s in Blackwood”

I then spoke to the leasing company at the time and they weren’t able to divulge information.

Soon after we were all surprised when the parking lot was repainted… all new black top surface and striping! But yet nothing was confirmed as a new tenant.

It didn’t add up! Who would spend money for those upgrades without a tenant signed on?!

Well as I almost always say, I did determine it was going to be a dispensary a few weeks ago but needed some solid proof before putting into writing… like this Zoning Board meeting!

From the Public Notice

The Property is an existing commercial shopping center known as Commerce Plaza II and the Applicant is proposing to renovate and occupy an existing free-standing building consisting of approximately 3,440 square feet located on the southwesterly side of the Property at the corner of Blackwood Clementon Road and Milbridge Road and previously occupied by a restaurant. The Property is in the Highway Commercial (“HC”) Zone and the proposed use is conditionally permitted.

The notice goes on to say that while the use as a Cannabis dispensary is allowed, the initial application was rejected by the township Zoning officer on two grounds

Applicant seeks a conditional use variance, other variances, minor site plan and site plan waiver approval to renovate and occupy the existing free-standing building as a marijuana dispensary on the Property and utilize existing parking on the Property pursuant to a dispensary permit to operate an alternative treatment center awarded by the State of New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The proposed use is conditionally permitted in the HC Zone under the Township Land Development Ordinance, specifically Article IV, Section 416(D)(9). However, pursuant to a zoning permit denial issued by the Township zoning officer on July 12, 2022, the existing free-standing building in which the proposed use would be located does not comply with two of the criteria, specifically Section 416(D)(9) b. and d. The Applicant requests variance relief from the requirements of the HC Zone, specifically Section 416(D)(9) b. and d. and pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70(d)(3) with respect to the proposed marijuana retail dispensary use.

This is Breaking News so not a lot of detail here. I wanted to get it online fast as the legal just hit this morning.

Meeting Details

Gloucester Zoning Board of Adjustment – in person public hearing

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 7:00 P.M.
Council Chambers of Gloucester Township Municipal Building
1261 Chews Landing – Clementon Road
Laurel Springs, New Jersey