Board Votes Against Diesel for Expanded 5 Star Gas
Residents began circulating a petition to have the mayor and council overturn the plan's approval.
There will be no diesel fuel at the expanded 5 Star Gas, but the plan for the gas station has otherwise been approved.
The Washington Township Zoning Board voted 5-2 Tuesday to add a final condition prohibiting the sale of diesel fuel to the approval of Sky Trading, LLC's plan to renovate the gas station on the corner of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue with additional pumps and a new 1,206-square-foot convenience store. The board made the decision to grant use variances at their May meeting and memorialized their decision Tuesday.
Residents said they were happy to get one more compromise on the plan, which neighbors previously said will be too big and disruptive at an already-too-busy intersection in a residential zone. They had been worried that the diesel fuel would attract large tractor trailers to the site.
"We are very pleased about the diesel fuel decision," McKinley Avenue resident Linda Murphy said.
Over the course of the hearings, Sky Trading made a number of concessions based on the concerns of residents and board members. An engineer working on the plan shrunk the proposed convenience store by eight feet on its north and east sides, removing a previously required parking variance and creating wider setbacks between the building and neighboring homes. The originally-proposed four gas islands with eight pumps has been cut to three islands with six pumps. The planned canopy to be added over the islands was also made smaller.
Washington Avenue resident Grace Hogan, one of a group of residents who have been actively opposing the plan, told Patch Tuesday she was not aware of any residents who planned to formally appeal the decision because the cost of hiring an attorney is prohibitive and the process of appealing it pro se would be too time-consuming.
"It's like a full-time job," Hogan said.
Residents have begun circulating a petition to ask the mayor and council to overturn the zoning board's approval. Mayor Janet Sobkowicz and members of the planning board have also criticized the approval because the gas station is located in a residential zone.