RED BANK: SHELL TO TRY YET AGAIN

RED BANK NJ SHELLThe latest plan calls for replacing the car wash, at left above, with a convenience store. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Five months after yanking a plan to add a Dunkin’ coffee shop, the owner of Red Bank ‘s lone Shell station will once again try for a convenience store.

Station owner Waseem Chaudhary’s proposal is  the third he’s floated in the past seven years.

The latest calls for a 3,000-square-foot convenience store. Chaudhary also plans to replace the canopies over the fuel pumps, according to the agenda for the planning board hearing, scheduled for February 3.

The matter was to have been heard at the January 6 meeting, but was pushed back at the applicant’s request. The January 6 meeting has now been cancelled.

The proposal comes two months after the borough council, acknowledging the trend of gas stations being paired with convenience stores, amended the zoning ordinance to permit both types of operations on a single site.

While each was previously permitted in the Highway Business zone along Newman Springs Road, station owners would have to seek variances to combine retail operations with gasoline sales.

Still, Chaudhary’s latest proposal needs setback variances, including one that would allow the store to be 33 feet from the street, instead of the 50 feet required in the zone.

In 2013, the zoning board rejected a plan by Chaudhary to replace an existing but disused car wash on the site with a 7-Eleven store. Board members said the plan was “too dense.”

Earlier this year, he proposed a Dunkin’ shop on the property, to be run by Dominic Sequeira and family, who own Dunkin’ stores in Tinton Falls and Lincroft, and plan to open one in Fair Haven. But the Red Bank plan was withdrawn in July amid questions by board members about vehicular movement into and within the site.