BRICK – An applicant hoping to build a Wawa and quick service restaurant with drive-through on Route 70 near Lake Riviera pledged to get a third lane added to the eastbound highway to help with traffic backups there.
That and several other revisions to a plan for the gas station, convenience store, and drive through restaurant buildings at Route 70 and Duquesne were presented to the zoning board February 1.
Lake Riviera residents and supporters, dressed in green, filled the seats at the zoning board meeting, and with testimony lasting three hours, the hearing will continue to a special meeting February 22.
Then, the board will hear from the applicant’s site planner and will take comments from the public about the plan.
This is the second time the applicant has presented plans to the zoning board. In these revised plans the emphasis is on extending a third lane onto Route 70 eastbound, beginning around where it presently merges to two lanes right after the Costco Plaza. In their proposal, that third lane would continue through the intersection at Duquesne and connect with the right turn only lane at Cedar Bridge.
The footprints of the Wawa convenience store and a “quick service” restaurant with drive-through are the same, but the revisions include how traffic will circulate through the gas station bays and where some parking would be.
Parking for larger trucks was added, but three fewer parking spaces exist overall in the layout, now at 122. There is only 82 spaces required.
Other testimony concerned the sound wall between the drive-through and the nearby residential areas. The developer was original pitching the restaurant tenant be Panera or similar eatery.
Seeing a crowd of residents in opposition at the beginning of the meeting, the zoning board chairman and attorney warned those present to keep order and show consideration so everyone could hear the testimony. One North Lake Shore Drive resident retained an attorney in opposition to the project.
Much of the evening presented plans for three entrances to the site, one on the west through an existing commercial parking lot for a medical office, the main one from Route 70, and an east one onto North Lake Shore Drive.
To jeers from the crowd, the applicant’s traffic engineer maintained the eastern entrance would not impact local residents or be used as an illegal pass-through to bypass traffic building at Duquesne. Instead of being its own destination, a Wawa and quick eatery would not add to traffic as most vehicles are already passing by, he said.
Testimony will continue with the applicant’s site planner at 7 p.m. February 22 in town hall.