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LIDL Williamstown Back Up for Planning Review Tonight (Dec 16)

LIDL Williamstown Back Up for Planning Review Tonight (Dec 16)
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Back in March 2021 a new LIDL Grocery store was approved for Williamstown at the corner of the Black Horse Pike and Lake Ave. But “due to an allegation that the prior public hearing was not conducted in accordance with all applicable requirements“, the application is being reheard tonight, December 16th at 6pm.

Tonight’s meeting will present the same application materials and plans as the March 25, 2021 meeting.

42Freeway doesn’t know all of the details on the need for the new meeting… but we did notice back in March that Facebook comments seemed to have a higher number leaning towards “concern”, and many residents have sent letters to the Town or signed petitions asking for the project to not be approved, or to make adjustments to the plan.

To the credit of the Monroe Township Planning Board, they have posted on their site some (all?) of the resident concerns. See below.

If those resident concerns are what is driving this second approval effort for the project, I think this may be the first time in my 7 years of covering our area retail that I’ve seem area residents move beyond the keyboard complaints, and actually influenced a decision!

Note, the spring presentation and approval was postponed a month before being heard. All indications for this December meeting is that it will take place, but 42Freeway is not responsible of parties involved decide to postpone.

Meeting Details

LIDL Williamstown Planning Board Hearing – Public hearing held in person.
December 16, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
Monroe Township Municipal Building
Courtroom, First Floor
125 Virginia Avenue, Williamstown, New Jersey 08094

Lidl Bakery: LIDL Press Photo

LIDL Williamstown

We wrote about the plans for a new LIDL grocery back in February 2021. That February meeting was postponed into March, when the project was approved.

The location for the LIDL is on the Black Horse Pike at Lake Ave, with the core grocery building to be developed behind the existing First Bank Property.  The back of the new LIDL would run along Herbert Boulevard.

The existing Lake Ave property entrance will remain, and an additional water retention area will be added.

The store will be 28,179 sq ft, and will require an approval to split the property in two so that the First Bank and LIDL properties are separate.

While we touched on the need for the new Planning Board meeting, this is the full text from the Public Notice:

At this re-hearing on December 16, 2021, the Planning Board will consider the same application materials and plans that the Planning Board considered on March 25, 2021. Any interested party may review the application which is on file in the Board office and available for inspection during regular business hours, which are currently 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

LIDL Williamstown Planning Board Notice for December 16, 2021

While you could go to the Planning Board office to see all of the plans, the good folks at the Monroe Township Planning Board have all of the materials online.

Which I greatly thank them for that… Open Government! Inform the people and let them help make decisions!

The Planning Board Documents for the year are located here, and if you scroll down (or search) you’ll find a dozen or more documents.

What is LIDL?

Lidl is a Germany based grocery in the same category as Aldi… but with a bigger focus on the in-store bakery.

There are area locations in Cherry Hill, Vineland and recently a Glassboro store opened.

A new Gloucester Township location was approved for the Black Horse Pike and site-prep work has been taking place.

There was also an approval in Somerdale on the White Horse Pike, but I am not sure if that has moved forward to construction (beyond lot clearing)

Resident Concerns

In general it seems that residents are excited to have a new LIDL Grocery in town… just that the location chosen is not adequate and would have a negative effect on the surrounding neighborhood.

At the Monroe Township Planning Board site, they list a variety of petitions, letters and concerns from residents.

A group of residents from the surrounding streets wrote a letter (PDF) expressing concerns over the Herbert Boulevard entrance, increased through traffic on the residential streets, flaws in the traffic study, lack of pedestrian infrastructure, and impacts on surrounding historical communities.

A paper petition (PDF) asking to block the approval includes 30 signatures

A letter from Holiday City (PDF), representing the 681 home, is not asking for a complete block of the project, but identifies some problems with the plan and offers alternatives.

  • Sidewalks need to be added on Lake Ave and Herbert Boulevard
  • Increases in cut-through traffic would require flashing stop signs.
  • Repositioning the LIDL building to be next to First Bank, would alleviate impact on Herbert Boulevard
  • Traffic Signals: Two areas area called out for traffic signals; yellow warning and a traffic light

Resident Joe I. submitted concerns (PDF) with traffic and impacts on the local residents.

Resident Anthony D submitted a letter of concerns (PDF) calling out the lack of sidewalks, reduced parking, too small buffer, traffic and entrances, and a question on a property easement. digital petitions opposing the project where submitted. Several hundred names!


LIDL WIlliamstown Estimated Lot Location

Meeting Details

LIDL Williamstown Planning Board Hearing – Public hearing held in person.
December 16, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
Monroe Township Municipal Building
Courtroom, First Floor
125 Virginia Avenue, Williamstown, New Jersey 08094