Hearing On Drive-Thru Window Continues to April

By FRED T. ROSSI
Specially Written for The Leader/Times

SCOTCH PLAINS — The zoning board of adjustment will hold a fourth hearing in April on an application to add a drive-thru window at a Dunkin’ outlet on North Avenue.

Plainfield Gas Realty LLC, which owns the gasoline station and Dunkin’ at 2246 North Avenue, is seeking to add the drive-thru window at the building’s rear, which faces the railroad tracks. The proposed window, to be situated at the southeast corner of the building, would be served by a drive-thru lane that could accommodate up to 10 vehicles with room for those who ordered in advance as well as those arriving to place an order.

At last Thursday’s hearing, Benjamin Mueller, an engineer and noise specialist, spoke about the decibel levels of the two proposed drive-thru speakers to be located on the building’s west side. He said there would be no negative impact on the neighboring North Avenue residential property to the east, especially given the screening that has been planted along that border. He said the volume of the speakers is adjusted when they are installed and are kept at that level.

The property, which for many years was the home of Lou’s Gulf station and auto repair shop, was developed into a new gasoline station and convenience store in 2016. A number of concerns were raised at that time by residents and board members about traffic patterns exiting the property as well as the effect on the adjacent house, owned by Richard and Peggy de Martino. They have raised an objection to the drive-thru application and are being represented by attorney Marc Rogoff.

John McDonough, a planner and landscape architect, described the buffer between the site and the de Martino property as being five times larger than typically seen in Scotch Plains between business sites and adjacent residential lots.

At the next hearing on Thursday, April 8, Mr. Rogoff is set to present several witnesses, including Mrs. de Martino, in an attempt to convince the board to deny the application.

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