RED BANK, NJ: The Shell gas station located at the corner of Newman Springs Road and Shrewsbury Avenue, won approval to demolish an existing car wash and replace it with a convenience store.  The canopies over the fuel pumps will also be replaced and a single Electric Vehicle Charging Station will be installed.

Jim Henry, a Principal with Dynamic Engineering, provided a lengthy and detailed overview of the new plan which calls for a 2,999 square foot convenience store, one foot less than what would trigger an additional variance. 

“We’re really upgrading the building, the landscaping, the lighting and the entire facility itself.  Overall, this is a complete upgrade of the site and an improvement for the community itself,” said Henry.

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The property is owned by Waseem Chaudhary, CEO and President of Waseem Petroleum.  According to their website, the company owns 24 gas stations and partners with Shell and BP gas stations, 7-11 and Dunkin Donuts.  Chaudhary purchased an adjoining residential property on a foreclosure sale.  Henry said the property would be improved when construction starts on the convenience store. 

Demolition of the property and the building of the convenience store would commence once a tenant is signed and estimated to take three months.

Red Bank resident Tracy Kohnstam whose Shrewsbury Avenue home is two doors away from the Shell station, brought up numerous concerns including the replacement of trees which presently provide a buffer on her second floor windows.  The engineer stated that the newly planted trees would grow 2 – 3 feet per year but would attempt to obtain replacement trees that were 6 – 8 feet tall. 

Khonstam also asked that the store be reduced by 25% and that it was “lipstick on a pig.”

Board Chairman Dan Mancuso noted that the plan offers enhanced buffering saying, “It’s still a pig.  But we’re getting a better pig.”

The only dissenting vote was Michael Ballard who thought that replacing the car wash with a convenience store that is four times as large, is, “Going to create many, many more headaches.”

A Resolution to approve a preliminary and final site plan for a bar and restaurant located at 3-5 Broad Street was tabled by the Planning Board.  The board wanted to further discuss the conditions on the allowance of live (amplified) music on their rooftop seating.  The resolution will be carried to the next meeting.

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