Westwood 7-Eleven Plan Rejected by Board
The Westwood Zoning Board unanimously voted to deny an application to build a new strip mall on Kinderkamack Road.
The Westwood Zoning Board rejected an application to build a strip mall at the former Chevy dealer on Kinderkamack Road for the second time in less than a year during their meeting Monday night.
Board members unanimously voted to deny the plan, which called for a portion of the building to be demolished and replaced with a smaller 8,051-square-foot mall that would have included a 7-Eleven and as many as four other businesses.
Members said they were concerned with traffic, a proposed pylon sign, and the use variance for a convenience store in a site near a residential zone.
"I think they could have made it a little less instrusive," board member Eric Oakes said.
David Lafferty, the applicant's attorney, said he believed the plan would be beneficial because it would remove "an eyesore," increase the building's setback from neighboring properties and increase the amount of green space on the site.
"We've done everything we can to be good neighbors and responsive neighbors," Lafferty said.
The board denied a nearly identical application for the same site last May because of concerns over a requested "general retail" use variance, which would have allowed the sale of just about anything at the strip mall. The site is only zoned for limited retail uses, including large appliances and antiques.
After that, developer Nicholas Aynilian filed both an appeal of the first denial and the second application.
"We understood that the board had problems with our request for an open-ended variance for general retail use," Lafferty said at the time.
The applicant ended up agreeing to remand the appeal back to the board, allowing the new plan to be heard. Aynilian told Patch after the denial Monday that he would continue with his appeal of the first application.
Aynilian has also filed an application for a second strip mall on Kinderkamack Road, across the street from the first site. The board is scheduled to begin hearing that plan at their April 1 meeting.