AS EXPECTED, WELSH FARMS HEADS TO COURT

The owner of the store had sought a variance for an expansion and signage, but was derailed by a last-minute change in the noise ordinance.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank planning board’s rejection of a proposal to turn a Welsh Farms convenience store into a 24-hour 7-Eleven has triggered a lawsuit.

Dina Enterprises, owner of the East Front Street store, filed suit in state Superior Court in Freehold August 8, claiming the board kowtowed to public opposition and exercised “palpable abuse of its discretionary authority” in rejecting an expansion variance in May.

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LAWYERS SQUARE OFF OVER 24/7 7-ELEVEN

The Welsh Farms store on East Front Street, site of a planned 7-Eleven, would be banned from opening all night under a law passed Wednesday night. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In a contentious exchange that appeared to foreshadow a lawsuit to come, a lawyer for a Red Bank convenience store challenged the rationale for a new local law that banned all-night businesses Wednesday night.

Squaring off against three lawyers sitting on the council dais, store attorney Philip San Filippo said a revision to a noise ordinance passed by the governing body just moments later was overly broad in scope and designed solely to torpedo his client’s plans, now pending at the borough planning board, to convert the store to a 24-hour 7-Eleven.

The law, cast as an amendment to a noise ordinance, was “absolutely” designed with his client’s plans in mind, San Filippo told reporters afterward.

“It absolutely was not,” insisted Councilman Mike DuPont, even as he touted the hastily enacted law as a “creative” response to a problem.

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