The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Zoning Board acts on Leland Avenue Shell station

Pale yellow indicates new weather canopy. Plantings on south and north boundaries
will be improved, as well as parking reconfigured.

Though work has already begun, it can now proceed full-steam ahead.
Plainfield's Zoning Board of Adjustment took action at Wednesday's meeting on issues regarding the makeover of the Shell gas station at Leland and South Avenues.

The attorney, architect and planner representing the owners, Plainfield Gas Realty, LLC, all mentioned that a gas station has been on that corner for many years -- since 1941, in fact -- and that the changes under way are improvements to an already existing use of the property which will modernize it, benefiting customers and the neighborhood alike.

Along with improved (and less glaring) lighting, more extensive landscape plantings, reconfigured parking layouts and changes to the pylon sign at the corner, a weather canopy over the pumps is planned.

After a full discussion -- including considerable fussing over signage, sending Planning Director Bill Nierstedt scurrying upstairs to retrieve the plans for the OTHER 7-Eleven recently opened on Terrill Road to compare ATM signs -- the board unanimously approved the project, with some conditions agreed on at the meeting.

In registering his vote, board member Scott Belin noted he was voting for the project but was unhappy that it was a 7-Eleven store that was coming in. To which many of the other members murmured assent or nodded their heads.

Everyone seems to be puzzled about a second 7-Eleven being opened within a mile of another at the corner of South Avenue and Terrill Road that has only been open a couple of months.

I was able to catch the owners and their team for a few words after the vote and asked about the 7-Eleven franchise question.

The attorney said that 7-Eleven assured them that their marketing studies indicated the two stores could thrive in such close proximity. When I pressed about how strange this seemed, the planner said that he was aware of another similar situation in Cinnaminson, a South Jersey township near Moorestown.

So, now I will have two choices for the new $1.00 pizza slices 7-Eleven recently began offering and which I find tasty.

And the Plainwood Square Merchants can have two members who are 7-Elevens.

The more the merrier.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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