Two Gas Stations, Convenience Stores Approved In Two Days

12-17-15 Meeting - 2

Engineer Andrew French discusses an application for a 7-11 on Hamiton Street at the Dec. 17 Zoning Board meeting.

Two separate applications for gas stations and convenience stores were approved by township boards on Dec. 16 and 17.

On Dec. 16, the Planning Board approved an application for a WaWa market and gas station on Route 27, and on Dec. 17, the Zoning Board of Adjustment approved plans for a 7-11 store, gas station and small retail center on Hamilton Street.

Both convenience stores will be open 24 hours and both will sell their own brands of gasoline, according to testimony given at the respective hearings.

The WaWa and gas station will be located at the corner of Route 27 (Somerset Street) and Juliette Avenue, on the former Guaranteed Motors property.

The convenience store will be a new prototype design for the company, according to Laurie Kiedaisch, WaWa’s real estate project engineer.

Developers plan a roughly 5,000-square-foot WaWa with 12 gas pumps on the 1.7-acre lot.

The developer plans to plant 488 trees and shrubs around the property to serve as landscaping and buffers, according to the project’s engineer, Mark Whitaker.

The developer originally wanted to put a 20-foot high sign on the property, but that did not sit well with Planning Board members.

Justin Taylor, the project’s traffic engineer, said motorists traveling down Route 27 would not be able to see a 10-foot tall sign, as is required by township zoning ordinance.

Drivers also need to be able to see the price of gasoline, Taylor said.

Mark Healey, the township principal planner, reminded Taylor that the township requires 10-foot monument signs, after which Peter Lanfrit, the developer’s attorney, suggested putting two 10-foot signs on different parts of the property.

“That’s ridiculous,” board chairman Michael Orsini told Lanfrit. “You’re not going to get that. We’ll give you approval for one sign.”

The board finally approved the application with one 10-foot tall sign, with the potential for the developer to return for approval of a second sign.

The next day, the zoning board approved a plan for a 7-11 convenience store and gas station and small retail plaza at Hamilton Street and Veronica Avenue.

The 2,900-square-foot 7-11 store would be attached to more than 11,000 square feet of retail space, all of which would front Veronica Avenue. Up to seven stores could fit in the space allocated for retail, the board was told.

There would also be up to 16 gasoline fueling pumps.

The developer, Felix Bruselovsky, received approval for the concept at the board’s Oct. 31, 2013 meeting. At that meeting, Bruselovsky floated the idea of a 24-hour gas station, but several board members shot that down.

Under the site plan that was approved, the retail stores will close at 10 p.m., and the gas station will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The 7-11 will be a “24-hour operation, which is necessary for us to keep 7-11 and for 7-11 to remain competitive,” Pape told the board.

He said companies such as 7-11 and WaWa “are at war” with each other.

Monument signs will be placed at the property’s two driveways, said Andrew French, the project’s engineer.

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