Washington Township residents voiced their concerns about Sky Trading's plan to knock down and replace it with a new eight-pump gas station and convenience store during a zoning board meeting Tuesday night.
The plan calls for the gas station on the corner of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue to be replaced with a 1,211-square-foot convenience store and a gas station with double the number of pumps currently on the site. Residents from adjacent and nearby homes said they were concerned about safety, noise and pollution problems that might result from the project. The gas station is in a residential zone.
"This site does not exist in a vacuum," McKinley Avenue resident Dorothy Alderson said. "There are good people living around the site."
Washington Avenue resident Donna McGinnis said she does not want a larger gas station on the site, which borders her home. The current gas station is about 18 feet tall, while the proposed convenience store would be 22 feet tall. There will also be a 44- by 52-foot canopy over the pumps. McGinnis and other neighbors said they were concerned the project would lower the value of their homes.
"It will be bigger than my house," McGinnis said.
Grace Hogan, also a Washington Avenue resident, suggested the site could be improved with less drastic changes. McKinley Avenue resident Mary Ann Orecchio said the site should not have a convenience store while there are still empty stores in the strip mall further down Pascack Road.
"The ones it would be most convenient to are opposed," Orecchio said.
Zoning Board Chairman William Johnson said Sky Trading's attorney, Bruce Whitaker, will be able to make his closing arguments at the board's April 17 meeting. Board members will deliberate and vote at the meeting on May 15. Johnson requested that all the applicant's and board's experts who testified at previous hearings attend so they can answer board members' questions.