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Eatontown Council Will Not Rezone Land To Allow Drive-Thru Restaurant

EATONTOWN: A developer looking to have a drive-thru restaurant built on his property will have to seek a variance for the project to move forward.

95 Hope Road, LLC asked the Eatontown Council in May if it would consider changing the zoning of their property on the corner of Hope Road and Wyckoff Road to allow a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts to be built there.

The PBO-88 zone does not allow a drive-thru restaurant and the property owner's planner, Jim Kyle, said fast food uses are allowed in the borough's B-1, B-2, MB and MBR zones only.

Kyle presented two options to the council; the first would be to permit fast food as a conditional use in the PB0-88 zone by way of an ordinance change.

The second option would be to permit fast conditionally in the PBO-200 zone and to change the zoning of the parcel back to what it was in 2007. Kyle said there are more PBO-88 zones in the borough that would allowed to have fast food chains under the first option than if the second option were considered.

The council agreed to have Borough Planner John Maczuga examine both options and make a recommendation.

"I think the bottom line is that I don't recommend the addition of fast food or drive-throughs as a permitted or conditional use in either the PBO-88 or the PBO-200 zone," Maczuga said during the June 9 Eatontown Council meeting. "I think the property owner has an avenue to purse through a use variance at the board of adjustment."

Councilman Anthony Talerico agreed that a use variance should be sought but felt that a Dunkin Donuts on the property is something the Eatontown Zoning Board of Adjustment would consider.

"I don't know how appropriate it is to say, but I think the zoning board would find favor on this," Talerico said.

The property owner's attorney, Ronald Shimanowitz, thanked the council for taking a look at their proposal and said another avenue will now be tried.

"We appreciate your response and we have a direction," Shimanowitz said.


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