The Washington Township Zoning Board is scheduled to vote on an application to replace 5 Star Gas with a new 1,206-square-foot convenience store and four-island gas station during their meeting Tuesday night.
Attorney Bruce Whitaker, who represents Sky Trading, made his final statements about the application at the board's April meeting. Whitaker said the new gas station would look better than the current one and improve drainage, traffic flow, parking and landscaping at the site.
"Overall, this becomes a better site than what is there now," Whitaker said at the hearing.
If the application is approved, the owner has also agreed to give a portion of land at the existing site to the county for a future improvement to the Pascack Road and Washington Avenue intersection.
Residents who live near the gas station have said they are concerned about the size of the proposed project and that safety, noise and pollution problems might arise if it is approved.
"It will be bigger than my house," neighbor Donna McGinnis said at a previous public hearing.
Sky Trading is asking for two use variances for the site to proceed with the plan. Even if the variances are not granted, Whitaker said, 5 Star Gas will remain at the site.
If there is time after the Sky Trading application, the board will continue hearing testimony about a plan to build a new 14,769-square-foot CVS with a drive-through across Pascack Road from the gas station.
At the previous hearing, engineer David Caruso explained changes to the landscaping plan for the site. They now plan to remove 62 trees from the site, instead of the 85 originally planned.
Caruso said he expected the required buffer to be no more than 25 feet, but the board received a letter from the state Department of Environmental Protection after the meeting which stated the stream has a drainage area greater than 50 acres, meaning it may require a 300-foot buffer.
Attorney Tendai Richards, who is objecting to the application on behalf of the Northgate Condominium Association, said at the hearing that the project would be "infeasible" if a 300-foot buffer was required. Portions of the site have less than 300 feet between the stream and Pascack Road.
The Washington Township Zoning Board meets at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Municipal Complex.