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Neighborhood group says proposed Wawa in Newark would encourage crime

Opponents file suit in effort to stop development of convenience store at vacant lot near Route 21

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Residents of a New Jersey city neighborhood are opposing a proposed Wawa convenience store, alleging it would increase the amount of crime and prostitution in the area.

A vacant lot in Newark is expected to become home to the city's very first Wawa, but a neighborhood association has filed suit against city planners and the lot owners to stop development. Neighborhood group President Lisa Grey tells NJ.com a 24-hour convenience store with no security would only encourage crime in the area.

City officials declined to comment on the issue, and Wawa Inc. did not immediately return calls for comment.

The lawsuit filed May 22 contends that the city planning board approved the project even though a majority of the panel's members didn't vote to approve it.

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