Jackson, NJ – It was reported by Shore News Network in 2020 that Glory’s Market was being redeveloped into a Wawa gas station and liquor store. We were called bad names by owner Clara Glory who lied to the public and denied that the queen of Jackson would dare do such a thing.
This week, Glory presented her plan to the Jackson Township planning board to build a super Wawa, liquor store and yet another drug store in Jackson to replace the existing bodega and liquor store that has been at the corner of Cedar Swamp Road and Commodore Boulevard for decades.
Now, after years of denial, despite DEP applications and leaked blueprints, the family presented their formal proposal to the township planning board.
The liquor store will be called “Glory’s Liquor Mart”. There was no mention of which drug store will occupy the site.
The news of the plan comes just days after Wawa announced it will be shutting down it’s older Cedar Swamp location. The Wawa gas station and store will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Glory’s asking the township to allow them to subdivide two lots into five lots to be considered for future development. The Wawa store will be 4,736 square feet. The new Glory’s Liquor Mart will be 5,244 square feet and the pharmacy building will be 8,538 square feet.
Political influence helped to get once worthless dirt lot to a strong position for Wawa development
During those decades, Glory’s sat in the middle of nowhere. Since getting involved in politics, Clara Glory who manages political campaigns, runs the local Republican municipal council, the Chamber of Commerce and has served as political campaign treasurer for all of Jackson’s currently elected officials has turned her diamond in the rough into the crown jewel of Jackson.
Clara Glory contends that the land that has been in her husband’s family since the 1940’s is their right to sell and was a naturally occurring series of events that led the family to be in the position to develop the property to Wawa.
It had nothing to do with the family’s involvement in township politics nor their public support for thousands of apartment units in close proximity approved in the past 10 years.
Their goal was accomplished by the approval of Jackson 21. Jackson 21 promised to be a city in the pines, complete with theaters, a downtown area, shops, an arts district, a town green and much more. So far, in the 10 years since its approval, Jackson 21 has delivered clear cutting and high density apartment complexes.
There are no plans yet submitted to town hall to deliver what Jackson 21 promised the townspeople. Glory, also made a promise she couldn’t keep. She went on social media last year to ‘defend her family’s honor’ and to quell rumors that she and her husband George were cashing out on the political investment they made that lead to their success.
Now, with thousands of high density apartment buildings which Clara Glory openly promoted over the past 10 years with her close ties to Jackson 21 Project Manager Tom Bovino, her land is worth a fortune.
Glory’s ignoring township’s environmental concerns
How we got here borders on unethical, but the fact of the matter is we are here and now, the Glory project is being accused of skirting local environment considerations.
At the hearing, Glory’s asked for an exemption to bypass conducting and environmental impact study (EIS) and have been ignoring the local environmental commissioner’s requests for one for six months.
This week, Jackson Township Environment Commissioner Jeff Riker who serves as that board’s delegate on the planning board spoke out against Glory’s law team saying they have ignored the environmental commissioner’s request to review the project for months.
“I sent you a letter on November 18th, 150 days asking for information for an EIS and I have not heard back from you,” Riker told Glory’s legal team. “We have a policy that if I don’t hear back from you in three meetings, we throw your plans away. I’m going to extend the courtesy tomorrow when we have our meeting. Can you explain to me why tonight, you’re going to ask for a waiver when you haven’t responded in 150 days. You’re glossing over the environmental commission like it doesn’t exist.”
Riker accused the law team that he will not grant the waiver on principal alone and ordered Glory’s to conduct an EIS.
The legal team apologized to Riker who told them to be quiet and would not accept their apology.
Glory’s lawyers refuse to build sidewalks for apartment pedestrian traffic
Glory’s also asked the township to cut corners and asked for permission to not build a sidewalk. Township planners balked at the idea saying residents from the local apartment complexes need to have sidewalk access to walk to the site.
Instead, Glory’s wants walkers to walk on the ‘greenspace’ and save the money on building sidewalks along West Commodore Boulevard and Cedar Swamp Road. The lawyers for Glory’s pushed back on the sidewalk request and said, “Maybe we’ll build a path”.
“I think we need to have a well thought out plan for pedestrians,” the board said. The lawfirm said they will include a path, not a full sidewalk.
The plans submitted to the township showed neither a sidewalk nor a path to ensure pedestrian safety. Glory’s instead said they could contribute to the contribute to the county sidewalk fund and will not be proposing sidewalks.