NEWTON, NJ—The current convenience store that resides on Sparta Avenue between Merriam Gateway and Thor Labs has been approved by the Planning Board to be turned into a Dunkin Donuts.  Final agreement regarding the parking lot gives the project the green light.

The proposal, brought by Bernd Helefe, representative for the applicant, stated that the current standing building will be used to “build a modern facility to house a Dunkin Donuts” which will have a parking lot and a drive-thru.

Testimony was given by Raji Dharia, the business owner, Gary Trullio, the architect, Gary Dean, the traffic engineer and Daniel Davis, the engineer from Golden & Moran.  The board also made comments.

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Discussion ensued among the board about the proposal as a whole.  The main sticking points were related to parking lot.  Finally all parties agreed to have the applicant remove a parking space, going from nine to eight and look into certain waivers involving the run-off from the roof.

Ricciardo made a motion for preliminary and final site plan approval with seven design waivers and deviations for the proposed signage. The application was approved with simple majority.

The applicant, Raji Dharia, stated that once the proposal is approved, it will take at least three months to build and complete the project.

After the applicant Dharia and Helefe came back with the final site plan for approval and site plan design waivers that were discussed with the board, approval was granted over the summer.