MOUNT LAUREL — Starting Tuesday, Costco gas stations across the Garden State began requiring that all purchasers be active Costco members.

But at one New Jersey location, and only one, anybody from anywhere is still eligible to purchase gasoline: 100 Centerton Road in Mount Laurel.

In fact, if the station starts asking motorists for proof of membership, the township could take the company to court.

"We reached out to them on Friday and put them on notice again, and said we know this is starting next week across the state, but it will not happen in Mount Laurel," George Morris, township solicitor, told New Jersey 101.5.

The exemption stems from the fact that gas pumps were not originally part of the site's plans and construction. It wasn't until the wholesale club was up and running that Costco came to the township and indicated that it would like to add a gas station.

Because a gas station in that spot was not an approved use, Morris said, Costco had to submit testimony as to why the addition would benefit the community.

"That testimony was clear that they'd be selling gas to everyone," Morris said. "The testimony that they provided, that they would be selling to everyone, was enough to convince the board to give them their approval. Without that testimony, I don't know if they would've gotten the approval that night."

Motorists at Costco gas stations, including at the Mount Laurel location, began seeing signage in June warning them that come July 5, an active membership card would be required for gasoline purchases.

"We reached out to their attorneys right away," Morris said.

New Jersey gave Costco the green light to change its policy late last month, as state officials have not been able to pinpoint any statue that blocks the company from making this move.

A call to the Mount Laurel location on Tuesday confirmed that proof of membership was not necessary for gasoline purchases. Calls to every other New Jersey Costco with a gas station confirmed that attendants are asking to see an active card before starting the pump.

"If people go to Costco and are being denied, they need to reach out to the township definitely, because it would be a violation of their approvals," Morris said about the Mount Laurel location. "And the township will take corrective action, including taking them to court."

Attempts to reach Costco for comment were unsuccessful as of Tuesday afternoon.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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