Pine snake again stymied Walmart's plan for Route 37 store in Toms River

Walmart and partner developer Jay Grunin thought they had the solution to threatened northern pine snakes on the site of their planned Route 37 West store.

After an initial version of the project was rejected by the state Department of Environmental Protection in June 2006, the partners and their professionals conferred repeatedly with DEP experts on shortcomings in the plan. In three years, a redesigned package emerged: a buffer area and adjacent woodlands to be preserved around a snake den, preserving another 21 adjacent acres, and enhancing other areas for pine snakes west of Lakehurst.

Yet pine snakes were at the top of the list of issues when the DEP again denied a Coastal Area Facility Review Act application for Walmart. Other regulatory issues over building and paving areas versus open space loomed large in the decision too, and Gov. Chris Christie got involved when he heard about the rejection Monday evening.

Read full story HERE.


About Candace M Hansen

Wildlife advocate, conservationist and environmentalist.
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