An application to construct a Roy Rogers restaurant near the corner of Brick Boulevard and Molly Lane will not be heard again until September to allow planners to examine a different conceptual plan.
The Brick Planning Board voted unanimously at its Wednesday meeting to again carry the application after proceedings were largely limited to direct and cross examination of traffic expert Daniel J. Laguardia by attorneys Ron Gasiorowski and Harvey York, respectively.
Through a series of direct questions from Gasiorowski to Laguardia (along with presentations of accompanying photographs taken by Laguardia), it was the intent to establish that the formula used by traffic engineer John Rea of Mansasquan-based McDonough and Rea Associates, was inaccurate in determining the number of cars waiting in line to turn from Brick Boulevard onto Molly Lane, and vice-versa. Those lines would be for the express purpose of accessing the proposed restaurant site, as well as the number of people leaving the restaurant to enter Brick Boulevard.
“The study (by Mr. Rea) showed a two to three-car queue, but in actuality, it’s more than that,” Laguardia said.
Laguardia’s photograph displayed a queue of nine cars and was taken between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. in the evening.
In another photograph showing motorists exiting the present site, Laguardia said that taking a “peak-hour factor” into account is what led to his calculations of a nearly 20-car queue, as opposed to that of Rea.
“It was taken when peak traffic exited a nearby fitness center and office,” said Laguardia of his photograph.
On cross examination, York asked if Laguardia had a copy of his report in his possession at the meeting, but the witness conceded that he did not at the time.
“I appreciate the concerns (from Laguardia), but he doesn’t have the report,” said York.
Traffic engineer Michael Angelastro of Remington & Varnick Engineers in Haddonfield testified that he believed Rea’s report was acceptable.
It was also established that a second conceptual plan of the property, different from the first, relieved many of the apprehensions that board members may have had with the initial design — such as where the customer drive-through and loading areas of the proposed establishment would be.
Gasiorowski argued that the new conceptual plan could not be used by the board to determine the final vote on the application itself, claiming that “it was not part of the original application.” He continued that the conceptual plan was not reviewed by board professionals, and therefore not applicable for their decision.
Planner/Engineer Robert Sive explained that the main changes from the initial plan to the second, conceptual plan of the site were the reduction from 3,000 square feet to 2,000 square feet, and the relocation of the drive-through area from the center of the property to the rear of the property.
“There is no impact on variances, except for a reduction in impervious coverage, from 75 percent, to 69 percent,” said Sive.
Board Chairman Joseph Catalano liked that the drive-through area was moved, but added that he still thought “a lot was being asked” of this particular site.
As far as parking for the proposed restaurant, York said that the applicant had reached cross-over agreements with adjacent businesses for parking purposes. Gasiorowski replied that there’s no way to proceed through the site without crossing adjacent properties, but York said that parking had been reduced in the new conceptual plan and met ordinance requirements.
Both board member James Coakley and Coronato stated that their concerns over the originally submitted plan were alleviated, through the redesigned, “better” conceptual plan which was brought forward.
“The second plan seemed much more feasible,” said Coakley, in reference to the drive-through area.
Though members of the public were in attendance for the meeting, none chose to voice their views in the public comment portion.
The board will again hear the application at its Sept. 26 meeting, when the new conceptual plan will be examined.