EAST HANOVER, N.J.-On September 13th, the East Hanover Land Use Planning Board held a special meeting to hear testimony from the StoneField Engineering group on their plan to erect a new 7/11 store in East Hanover. The meeting started out  with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer, then it was time to get down to business. Members of the Stonefield Engineering Group testified on the parts of traffic and general engineering in the meeting but a meeting scheduled for a later date will continue testimonies.

The proposal to put a 7/11 convenience store for 223 Rt. 10, Block: 100.01, Lot: 2 B-2 zoned for commercial use, better known as the old Burger King, would use the existing structure and add on 613 square feet to total 2688 square feet total. Some new refacing would go into the building and also the area surrounding the building. The testimony also described plans to reduce the now 38 parking spots in the area to 17 spots all the way around the building and agreed to stipulate to any landscaping requests that the town would prefer. Some of the details also explained were that there would be an included Loading Zone on the west side of the building to allow only one tractor trailer a week during off peak hours (peak hours are recognized as 7 am-9 am and 4 pm-6 pm) for deliveries and one to two box truck deliveries per day. The box truck deliveries would use either the loading zone or a parking spot to deliver goods to the store. This would also be in addition to two garbage pick ups per week. The convenience store would be open 24/7 and operate with two employees per shift maximum.

The Land USe Planning Board members expressed concerns for many different topics. Some of those included but were not limited to traffic affects, pedestrian safety, snow removal and general impacts on the town and its citizens, specifically the nearby Hanover Park High School. The attestant, who is a part of the Stonefield Engineering Group explained plans in place to add additional crosswalks and signals to the intersection of Mount Pleasant and New Murray Road for easier access to the store by students of the High School. In rebuttal to that, the members of the board questioned the safety of the students walking across such busy roadways and intersections, “We need to fix the problem, not add to it” mentioned Councilwoman Carolyn Jandoli in response to the proposal by the attestant. Due to the intersection being one of the more problematic in town, Chairman William Salemme stated “That specific intersection is a mess. It is our job and our duty as the Planning Board to control what type of business goes into that location.” The board agreed that the safety of the drivers and the students of the school in the area is paramount.

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The Land Use Planning Board and the applicant for this property have scheduled a second special meeting for Monday, October 29th, to continue testimony from other witnesses.

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