Objector Comes Forward Against Westwood 7-Eleven Plan
Bruce Meisel said he was opposing the project because of a conflict between the application and Westwood's Master Plan.
A plan for a new strip mall on Kinderkamack Road is facing some opposition near the end of its application.
Bruce Meisel, a local property owner and the president and CEO of Pascack Community Bank, announced at the Westwood Zoning Board meeting Monday that he planned to formally oppose a plan to build a 8,051-square-foot, five-unit strip mall at the former Chevrolet of Westwood on Kinderkamack Road.
At the same meeting, the last of the applicant's experts completed giving testimony about the plan.
Meisel said he was concerned about a requested use variance to allow a convenience store, likely a 7-Eleven, to occupy part of the shopping center. That use was not included among the borough's recent changes to its Master Plan, a document which sets what uses and types of buildings are allowed in different areas of towns.
"To change the Master Plan at this time, when the ink is not even dry, is a detriment to the town," Meisel said.
David Lafferty, the attorney representing the applicant, questioned why Meisel waited to raise his objection until the night when the last testimony for the application was given.
"I'm not sure the timing is appropriate," Lafferty said.
Meisel asked that the application be carried to the board's March meeting so he could hire experts to testify against the plan. Lafferty said he believed it should be heard at Monday's meeting or at the board's next meeting on February 4.
Board officials decided they would carry the public comment portion of the application to their February 4 meeting and would decide then whether or not they would carry it again to March.
The board rejected a similar application last spring because of concerns similar to Meisel's. The main difference with the first plan was that the developer had requested a "general retail use" variance.
The Master Plan allows some retail uses, like car dealerships and large appliance stores, at the site. Norman Dorf, the property owner, previously testified that he did not believe those kinds of businesses could be successful at the site.