NEWTON, NJ—After four months of presentations at Planning Board meetings, the Taco Bell proposal is in its final stages. A special meeting has been requested by the applicant for Thursday, October 8 at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building.
Many changes have been made in the structure of the building that will be built across the street from the County Seat, in what is now the County Seat restaurant’s parking lot. The smallest building that the Taco Bell Corporation allows will go up in the lot with a drive-thru, if the application is approved.
Many residents have raised concerns regarding the late hours of the drive-thru, the noise volume from the speakers, the lights from the parking lot shining into residents’ homes, the traffic flow down Hamilton Street, the traffic going into the center of town, the foot-traffic that has potential to cause more accidents in town, and many more.
“At this point it is simply a choice between two different options,” said Newton Town Manager, Thomas S Russo, Jr in an interview. He explained the project has met all of Newton’s zoning codes and town ordinances. Russo said the final decision that remains to be made is the configuration of traffic flow through the parking lot, with either one egress or two.
A vote is anticipated to be taken at the end of the meeting, which will determine if the proposal is approved or not pending final site plans.
The public will have an opportunity to ask questions and state their concerns to the board and to the experts that testified for the applicant at the special meeting on Thursday.