CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
Fanwood Dunkin’ Donuts Appeals to Planning Board For FreeStanding Sign at South and Martine Site By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
FANWOOD — The owner of a Dunkin Donuts franchise at South and Martine Avenues in Fanwood appealed to the Planning Board January 26 for several bulk variances to erect a freestanding pylon sign which he hopes will give his business greater visibility.
Dipak Patel of Morristown, whose application will continue to be heard at the board’s next regular meeting later this month, had proposed a 12.8foothigh sign measuring 39.42 square feet, to be located on an existing grassy island between the corner lot’s two driveways.
Bulk variances are required be cause the proposed height and area
of the sign exceed Borough Code regulations, according to Planning Board member and Zoning Officer Nancy Koederitz. The permitted height is eight feet, with the area not to exceed 16 square feet. Board members noted, however, that a height variance request had not been included in the application.
Mr. Patel, who was represented during most of last week’s meeting by Metuchen attorney John Wiley and architect Subhash Sapra of Emerson, has maintained the sign will enhance traffic safety by allowing motorists on Martine to identify the business from a greater distance in either direction and give them increased reaction time.
Mr. Sapra said there was a “tremendous need” for an identification sign near the intersection because the business is not visible to northbound commuters until they have cleared the top of the Martine Avenue railroad overpass leading to the intersection, or about two car lengths from the traffic light in the opposite direction because of commercial buildings which line South Martine.
The architect, who designed the site plan for the proposed project, testified that greater visibility was particularly important because of the arrangement of the two driveways on the property, one of which is located just feet from the intersection off of Martine. The other driveway is accessible from South Avenue.
The franchise currently has a 33.31squarefoot identification sign on the building facade facing South Avenue. Mr. Wiley said there was not a visibility problem for motorists along South, which he said was used mostly by local commuters familiar with the Dunkin Donuts location. He stated that outoftowners, however, would more likely be traveling on Martine.
According to Mr. Sapra, the proposed sign would have a white backdrop with a border and feature the familiar orangeandraspberry colored Dunkin Donuts logo. He said the sign would be externally illuminated by floodlights which would not spill light beyond the structure.
Board members expressed concerns about the height and size of the proposed sign, as did the borough’s Environmental Commission in a report submitted to the board prior to last week’s meeting. Mr. Sapra testified that the planned sign was one of three sizes recommended by Dunkin Donuts’ corporate office.
Borough Council President Joel Whitaker, governing body Liaison to the board, who presided at last week’s meeting, revealed the commission feared the sign would detract from the ambiance of the down town and particularly the recentlyinstalled,
16foothigh Millennium Clock located directly across Martine Avenue from Dunkin Donuts.
Cynthia Swindlehurst, a member of the board, remarked that “a very big sign on a very busy intersection” could cause problems, while Mr. Whitaker asked Mr. Sapra if the new sign could instead be placed on the side of the building facing Martine.
The architect replied that a sign on the building would not be as effective as a freestanding one near the intersection. He determined that “the average driver’s vision will be straight ahead,” rather than looking to the side to see what building is there.
In addition, Mr. Sapra anticipated that for motorists traveling northbound on Martine, the impact of a building sign would be “very minimal.”
Fanwood Police Chief Robert Carboy, who was asked by Councilman Whitaker to present a traffic analysis, said he did not believe the proposed sign would pose a safety hazard at the intersection.
Of the 21 accidents which have occurred there over the past three years, he observed, only two involved people accessing the Dunkin Donuts property. Both took place in 1997. He described the average speed at the intersection during peak commuter hours as about 25 to 30 mph.
During his testimony, Chief Carboy commended Mr. Patel on his landscaping efforts and maintenance of the property, which years ago had been a service station and then another doughnut business.
Mr. Sapra told the board that Dunkin Donuts customers have told Mr. Patel and his staff that a sign near the intersection would be beneficial for motorists to identify the business. In addition to the site plan he
designed, the architect also presented a photograph of the existing site with an image representing the proposed sign superimposed on it.
Borough Engineer Richard Marsden said he did not believe the superimposed image accurately depicted the proposed height of the freestanding sign. Mr. Sapra responded that the image could be adjusted. Mr. Marsden also suggested that a smaller sign – one conforming to the Borough Code — would have the same effect.
The Borough Code states that signs must measure eight feet in height from the ground. Mr. Wiley proposed that the need for a height variance could possibly be eliminated if a 12inch berm was created on the existing island, with an eightfoot sign installed on top of it, bringing the total elevation to nine feet.
Mr. Wiley observed that the local code did not specify that the height of a sign had to be measured from the existing ground. However, Board Attorney Robert Mega and members of the board said they interpreted the language of the code to mean the present grade of a site.
After agreeing to have their appeal carried over until next month, Mr. Patel and his representatives indicated they would discuss possibly reducing the height and dimensions of the proposed sign. The board’s hearing on the application will resume on Wednesday, February 23, at 8 p. m.
Prior to the hearing on Mr. Patel’s application, board members elected their officers for the new year. All four of those who served last year were returned via unanimous votes by their colleagues, including Gregory Cummings as Chairman; Jack Molenaar, Vice Chairman; Mr. Mega, Board Attorney, and Ruth Page, Secretary.
OATH TAKEN… Mayor Louis C. Jung administers the oath of office to two new members of the Library Board of Directors during the first board meeting of the new year on January 10. Pictured, standing left to right, are: board members Karen Paardecamp and David Richard, who will serve as Secretary; Board President Steven Clark and Mayor Jung. Looking on is Councilman Stuart S. Kline. Meetings are held at the library on the second Monday of the month at 7: 30 p. m. All are invited to attend.
Cheri Rogowsky for The Westfield Leader and The Times LOOKING TO ADD SIGN... The owner of this Dunkin’ Donuts, located at South and Martine Avenues in Fanwood, has applied to the borough’s Planning Board for bulk variances to erect a freestanding sign. The case will resume at the board’s Wednesday, February 23, meeting.
CELLULAR SHOP FREE FREE • CARRY CASE • CAR CHARGER
• HANDS FREE KIT • HOME CHARGER KIT VOICE MAIL • CALLER ID • CALL WAITING • CALL FORWARDING WITH EVERY PHONE ACTIVATION
ALL CARRIERS AT&T • BELL • NEXTEL MCI • OMNIPOINT • CELLULAR ONE
AT& T WIRELESS SERVICES 1,000 offpeak min. $ 9. 99 /month 29.99 39.99 49.99 69.99 99.99 400Min 500Min 700Min 1200Min 1600Min
BELL ATLANTIC NETWORK MCI WORLDCOM FREE WEEKENDS for ONE YEAR
and FREE FIRST INCOMING MIN.
29.99 49.99 89.99 149.99 200Min 500Min 1000Min 2000Min FAMILY PLAN & ONE RATE PLANS ALSO AVAILABLE
FREE Ericsson 677
FREE Star TAC
$ 79 BAM 110
FREE CDM 4000
FREE Star TAC
BONUS 200-500 FREE Min. Per Mo.
On select Plans for 1st 6 mo.
Cellular Plus Special
$29.99 for 250min/ Month + Free Digital Phone
• FREE Weekends 500min • FREE Caller ID • FREE Voice Mail • FREE Paging
• FREE Activation • FREE News Updates • Stock Quotes on Demand • Weather Alerts Available
UNION RAHWAY WESTFIELD
2456A Route 22 (Center) 1002 St. George Ave, 311 South Ave., West
(908) 8100505 (732) 3401720 (908) 9289440 HOURS: MonSat 10am to 8pm 28 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS • www. cellplus. com
• See stores for details. Offer good for new customers only. All prices with new activations only. Promotions good with coupons only. Prices subject to change without notice. Motorola LS550
$49 Motorola LS350
$29 BEEPER SERVICE $1.99 A MONTH
TRISTATE AREA UNLIMITED BEEPS INCLUDES • Time • Date • Alarm • Multiple Rings
One year service and activation required
Sign up with your own digital phone and receive 200 min/ month
• FREE Weekends for 1 Year • FREE first incoming min • FREE Caller ID & Voice Mail Only $14.99 * /month
BELL ATLANTIC NETWORK MCI WORLDCOM
Jon M. Bramnick
1827 East Second Street Scotch Plains, NJ
908-322-7000 20 Years of Civil Trial & Personal Injury
Law Experience . Law Offices of
Personal Injury & Negligence Law
John C Rodriguez of Counsel Clarence A. Abramson
Jon M. Bramnick Certified Trial Attorney Stephanie Ann Mitterhoff
Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary
www. briannasrestaurant. com
• “Excellent “ -1998-2000 Zagats Restaurant Survey • “One of NJ’s Best Kept Secret “ New Jersey Monthly • “Wonderful Pasta “ New York Times
• Authentic Italian Cuisine • Exciting Regional Specialties • Private Rooms for Every Occasion
Italian Restaurant 1595 East Second Street • Scotch Plains • 3229050
Tuesdays to Saturday 5pm10pm • Sundays 4pm8pm
Show Her That You Care... Call Today for Valentine’s Day Reservations
Thomas Jardim Decides to Seek Third Term as Westfield’s Mayor; Parking Deck Among Top Priorities
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The TImes
WESTFIELD — Although the deadline for declaring candidacies in the June Primary and subsequent November General Election is Thursday, April 13, Westfield Mayor Thomas C. Jardim told The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains and Fanwood Monday that he plans to seek a third term.
In 1996, Mr. Jardim became the first Democrat elected as the town’s chief elected official in 85 years when he beat Republican Norman N. Greco. Two years later he posted a landslide victory over Republican Gail S. Vernick, winning all of the town’s 25 voting districts in the process.
Mayor Jardim told The Leader and The Times that he made his decision to run again over the holiday season and after talking to his wife, Karen Fountain.
The Mayor said he has received a lot of positive feedback from town residents regarding his tenure, although he admitted the office has had its “challenges” and “frustra tions.”
“I didn’t want to leave without having built a parking deck” in the town, said Mayor Jardim of his primary reason for seeking another twoyear term. A consultant hired by the town is to release a detailed report later this month on the best location and size for a parking facility along with building and daily operational costs projections and how to fund construction of the deck.
Mayor Jardim also said he wants to continue work towards the redevelopment of Central Avenue as well as a “better framework” for the municipal budget.
“Frankly, I think we tax people too much,” he said, noting that the town has a “healthy” budget and surplus that could be used better to reduce the burden on the town’s property taxpayers.
He said the town’s departments need to start formulating longterm budget objectives as well listing their shortterm spending needs. He noted that these budget plans should also focus on staffing levels.
Westfield Republican Town Committee Chairman Robert Cockren said the party has yet to make a final decision on a mayoral candidate.
In addition to the mayor’s office, three seats held by Democrats and one by a Republican are also up for reelection this year.
Tom Jardim 102 Quimby St • Westfield
Final 2 Days Friday 10 to 5 • Saturday 10 to 5
Odds & Ends Closeout!
Store Fixtures for Sale!
CDs $ 5
CDs $ 4 Cassettes $ 3 each
per disc per disc
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)