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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

Joint Land Use Board reviews car wash app.

Courtesy Image A rendering of the proposed Spark Car Wash on the corner of the White Horse Pike and Broadway.

HAMMONTON—The Hammonton Joint Land Use Board reviewed an application to add a car wash on 150 S. White Horse Pike during the April 17 meeting.

The applicant, Spark Car Wash, LLC sought a site plan with a subdivision with C and D variances.

Before reviewing the application, Councilman Jonathan Oliva and Planning Board member Edward Wuillermin recused themselves.

The property is centered on the corner of Broadway and the White Horse Pike.

The applicant started with an interpretation or an alternative in the D1 variance relief for the use itself and an interpretation or alternative variance relief regarding the applicability of the height of a first-story requirement.

CherylLynn Walters, the attorney representing Spark Car Wash, LLC said the applicant originally filed for preliminary and final major site plan approval and minor subdivision for the lot line adjustment on or about Nov. 21, 2023 and supplemented it on Jan. 2, 2024 with a copy of the N.J. Pinelands Commission certificate of filing for the project.

During the interpretation, Walters said the application falls under the umbrella of local service, which is a conditionally permitted use in the GW2 zone.

However, town planner Stuart Wiser disagreed.

“It’s my opinion that a car wash does not qualify as a personal service as our ordinance defines it,” Wiser said.

He said Chapter 175, the zoning code, has no definition for car wash. Whereas local service has a definition which includes barber and beauty shops, tailor shops, photographer studios, retail dry cleaning and laundering, appliance repair, shoe repair, upholsters, newspaper and print shops and customer service centers.

“I don’t see a car wash as being similar to any of those examples that were given,” Wiser said.

Walters argued a car wash provides a local service to the people in Hammonton and within a five-mile radius of town.

The Planning Board voted on if they think a car wash is a local service. If the Planning Board determined a car wash is a local service, then the applicant doesn’t require a D variance.

Before the vote, board member Jonathan Baske said if they consider a car wash doesn’t need a D variance, it would keep the door open for future car washes.

Wiser responded and said if the Planning Board rules on a variance, it’s site specific and application specific, and if the Planning Board rules on an interpretation, the interpretation lives until there’s an ordinance change and in this case for the GW2 zone, not for a specific property under a specific application.

When it was time to vote, the Planning Board determined a car wash is not a local service and the applicant would need a D variance.

Later in the meeting, board solicitor Joseph McGroarty said there needs to be a motion to approve the site plan as applied for with also a minor subdivision changing the lot lines of Block 3604 lots 1 and 2, moving two to three feet in one direction as indicated on the plans, a motion for a D1 variance allowing for the use of the site as a car wash and a motion for C variances for the minimum lots size of lots 1 and 2, the minimum front yard setback of lot 2, the building height requirements, the vehicle entrance location for the car wash, which would be in the front or the side as opposed to the rear, the approval of the monument sign, the sign quantity, wall mounted sign height and the roof signs, which are not permitted but would be allowed for this instance.

The Planning Board unanimously voted yes.

Chairman William Olivo asked what the timeline is for the car wash.

A representative from Spark Car Wash said hopefully by the end of the year.

Earlier in the meeting, Frank Rizzotte of S. Myrtle Street sought a curb and sidewalk waiver.

Town engineer Mark Herrmann said he supports granting a waiver because the property is not suited for curb and sidewalk.

The application was approved.

The next Planning Board meeting will be on May 1 at 7 p.m. at town hall.


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