EATONTOWN: A dormant plan to build a new Quick Chek in the borough will be back before the planning board this month.
The application to build the convenience store and eight fueling stations at 164 Route 35 was approved by the Eatontown Planning Board in July of 2015.
Excellency Enterprises, a group of nearby gas station owners who feel the project will be detrimental to their business, brought the litigation against the developers later that year after the board voted 6-3 to approve the application. Their suit claims that the approval should not have been granted because the borough's proximity ordinance does allow gas stations to be within 2,000 feet of one another.
However, the judge assigned to the case ruled in favor of the developer on Aug. 17, 2017 and gave the board the option of doing a remand public hearing even though the court did not find there to be any violation of the open public meetings act.
"The court gave the board the option of doing a remand hearing to clear up any potential future claims regarding the application and the board, as I understand, decided to do that," Borough Attorney Andrew Bayer explains during the Sept. 13 Eatontown Council meeting. "The objector who filed suit can't relitigate the issue through the court, it's for new people, theoretically, who did not get the annual notice in the second newspaper to participate."
The remand hearing will be heard by the planning board on Monday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 and will also ratify the prior approvals granted by the board which include several variances.
When the application was originally approved, board members Virginia East, Mark Regan and Mayor Dennis Connelly voted against the application citing parking and traffic issues as there reasons for casting dissenting votes.
The other board members agreed that the Quick Chek would be an improvement over the vacant building that currently resides on the property that was once an Ethan Allen store and most recently, a doctor's office. The lot is located near the Route 35/36 intersection and across the street from Ashley Furniture.