Business & Finance

Springfield Planning Board Approves Two New Restaurants – West 22 Diner to Close

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Longhorn Steakhouse Presentation at Planning Board Credits: Ellen Dickson
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SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Springfield Parcel LLc/Brixmore, the owner of the property at 697 Morris Turnpike came back to the Planning Board with a revised site plan for the Chipotle Restaurant. The application was first heard on October 5, 2016. On the question of whether Chipotle was fast food; it was decided it was not. A Chipotle was approved in 2009 in Springfield and operates on Rt. 22. Fast food restaurants are prohibited by ordinance in the Township.

Other changes were made to the application including right turn only onto Morris Turnpike, enter and egress from further down on Cleveland Place, relocation of some of the outdoor dining and five bollards were added. Additionally, to alleviate some of the lot coverage overage “porous asphalt” will be utilized in the parking lot. The look of the restaurant has been changed to include more glass, more decorative lighting, etc. The application was approved unanimously.

The West 22 Diner will close and be demolished. Longhorn Steakhouse, a Darden Restaurant, owned by Rare Hospitality International Inc. will build a new restaurant on the site. Demolition could begin as soon as March 1, 2017. Planning expert James Higgins spoke on behalf of the application. “Landscaping is substantial and much better than what exists now.” The building will have reduced lot coverage. It was approved unanimously.

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A final site plan subdivision for Dennis and Jeannette Natale on 276 Baltusrol Way was approved. The application of Universal Tool and Manufacturing of 115 Victory Road was carried.

The next Planning Board meeting is scheduled for January 4, 2017. It is a reorganization meeting – no application will be heard.

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