The Maplewood Township Committee will introduce three new ordinances related to the future of Springfield Avenue at its meeting on Tuesday.
The developers seeking to build a 24-hour Wawa convenience store and gas station on Springfield Avenue near Jacoby Street requested a new use in the town’s code for minimarts that could be limited to the highway business zone on Springfield Avenue.
Currently, there are two prohibitions for 24-hour businesses in Maplewood: service stations and businesses in a residential zone. These businesses are allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wawa is seeking to be open 24 hours a day.
The first ordinance would seek to amend the township’s zoning map, reclassifying some properties from a Highway Business Zone to a Pedestrian Retail designation. This would ensure that gas stations and auto repair shops would only be allowed to open up shop in those HBZ-designated areas.
The second ordinance will define a convenience store with a fueling station, allow a convenience store with a fueling station to be a permitted used within the highway business zone and will add professional offices as a permitted use in the Pedestrian Retail Business Zone.
The third ordinance attempts to define gas service stations and convenience stores with fueling stations, and will permit those to operate 24 hours a day.
“We’ve been talking a lot about Springfield Avenue and trying to get development,” said Mayor Vic DeLuca when the TC again discussed the issue in July.“The Master Plan is pretty clear about using the zoning code to spur development.”
Members of the Hilton Neighborhood Association have voiced positive reactions to the Wawa project.