Part of Haddon Sprouts OK Farmers Market, another waiting

HADDON TOWNSHIP, NJ – The Haddon Township Planning/Zoning Board recently approved one element of the proposed Cabbage Farmers Market located in Westmont Plaza and filed a decision on another.

Grocery store officials recently requested permission to make several improvements to the existing site, starting with removing 9,354 square feet of the building east of the Target store that Sprouts Farmers Market wants to occupy.

“This will allow loading and unloading of the facility,” said Cornelius Brown, engineer for Sprouts Farmers Market, at a recent zoning/planning board meeting. “There will be a fenced area and an emergency generator… There are also roadway and parking improvements along the storefront, there will be a replacement of the existing sidewalk [that will allow] for easy access or [Americans With Disabilities] to access.”

Zoning/planning board member Jose Calves noted that the Sprouts Farmers Market proposal comes with an added benefit.

It’s “a bit of a no-brainer, because as the experts mentioned, it’s less space, but it’s more in line with the current [town] prescription that is there now,” Calves said.

The zoning/planning board has approved this part of the Sprouts Farmers Market plan.

Regarding Sprouts Farmers Market’s current signage for the store site, some have expressed concerns, such as the company’s use of the terms “farmer’s market” and “local” in the same sign.

“People go to the farmers’ market waiting for local farmers’ produce, and they go there and the farmers have pineapples,” said zoning/planning board member Marguerite Downham. “I know there are no local fresh pineapples in New Jersey.”

Haddon Township employee James Stevenson said he was more concerned that some of the current Sprouts Farmers’ Market signage is not large enough to be seen by traffic on nearby Cuthbert Boulevard. Thus, he estimated that the inhabitants could spend their food budget in other municipalities.

“Haddon Township had three supermarkets at one time,” Stevenson said. “The supermarkets in this place have not done well. The panel package is essential.”

Lawyer representing Sprouts Farmers Market, Amy Ferrell, said she will discuss the zoning/planning board’s concerns about signage with the company and hopefully come back with township-friendly changes.

The next zoning/urban planning council meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

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