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Quick Chek Gets Quick 'No' from Matawan on Proposed Move

New site for convenience store and gas station is deemed too close to the train station redevelopment zone.

Quick Chek's application to build a new convenience store and gas station about 600 feet down Main Street from their current location was denied Monday by the Matawan Unified Planning/Zoning Board. 

After the board was satisfied with every aspect of the application aside from the freestanding signage, the discussion came down to whether or not a gas station was an appropriate use in such close proximity to the train station, which the borough had previously designated as a redevelopment zone. 

Through some back and forth discussion between the board's attorney, an engineer present on behalf of the borough and a planner present on behalf of Quick Chek, it was determined that the borough last defined the area surrounding the train station as transit village redevelopment zone in 2003. That determination must be redesignated by the borough every ten years.

At the same time, the borough's adopted master plan and land use plan also indicate a desire to redevelop the area surrounding the train station. 

The state provides guidelines for developing a transit-oriented area that also serve as qualifiers for transit redevelopment area programs and grants. These guidelines detail appropriate and inappropriate land uses within the designated area, the borough representatives explained. The state discourages businesses that promote the use of cars, such as gas stations and auto repair centers, and encourage businesses that promote foot traffic and mass transit, such as coffee shops and hotels.

Christine Cofone, of Cofone Consulting Group, LLC who testified as a planner on behalf of Quick Chek, contended that the Quick Chek convenience store would help serve the borough's goal to revitalize the area.

"One of the things revitalization looks for, is it looks for properties that are underproducing, properties that are not producing to their fullest potential to be redeveloped and revitalized. This property is currently a surface level parking lot with 100 percent impervious coverage," she said. "This application does bring revitalization, it brings jobs and it redevelops this under-utilized property."

The board ultimately determined that a land use variance called a D1 variance was necessary to approve the site plan.

When voting on the land use variance, four board members voted for and two board members voted against approving it. Although the majority of board members voted for the variance, five votes were required to approve it, board attorney Mike Irene explained. 

Without the approval of the variance, the application was unable to advance further in front of the unified planning/zoning board. 

Quick Chek has the right to appeal the application. John Marmora, the lawyer representing Quick Chek, said he would need to consult with his client before knowing whether or not they would appeal.

To learn more about the details of Quick Chek's application, click here.

tim A March 06, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Whole lot of stupid. Let's see: a parking lot or a actual business? Let's stick with the parking lot. Great call guys!!! Same dumb logic used not to get the empty hardware store/supermarket on main st "revitalized".
Mrs. B March 06, 2013 at 01:55 PM
And this is why our taxes keep climbing. Are you kidding me? Nothing has been done since the "redevelopement" plan in 2003!!!! 10 years and nothing. Bunch of morons.
jonathan ringwood March 06, 2013 at 03:14 PM
lets put another Mexican food store up, that would get an approval
MC March 06, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Wow. Their Redevelopment Zone more like dead zone.
Stewart March 06, 2013 at 11:50 PM
As the old adage says "A bird in hand " .When you have people standing at the gate ,waving cash ,should we let them in ?
LGA March 07, 2013 at 01:01 AM
What a stupid move! Its because of thinking like this that I moved out of Matawan. & years ago, when I went to open a business in town and renovate one of the old houses on Main Street I ran into the same stupidity. I bought a building in Marlboro just up the street and my company has grown to over 75 employees. We spend a small fortune at the local restaurants and convenience store. (wawa and marlboro pizza) Matawan does nothing to revitalize the town or its enrich its businesses or residents. Its nothing but a commuter parking lot.
Aberdeen Guy March 07, 2013 at 01:18 AM
While I didn't think it was the greatest idea, it was something positive for an area that hasn't seen any progress what so ever in ages. Come on Matawan, get your act together finally and do something positive with the train station and on main street. It's long over due!!!!
VL March 07, 2013 at 10:00 PM
The 2 board members that voted against this project MUST be questioned and hold responsible for this dead MATAWAN town. Redevelopment??? Are you kidding me?? I am comparing this town with Englishtown Quick Check that was built 3 years ago. That town was so similar with us years ago until Quick cash was built. That was followed with Walgreen, Dunkin Donut and the rest of new businesses along Englishtown Main st and Rt 527 intersection. THIS is called REDEVELOPMENT!!
DC March 13, 2013 at 01:29 AM
DC Matawan is so anti small business I had a friend that purchased the C town that closed he was going to invest several million dollars and set up a wholesale and retail italian stlye bakery cafe I saw the plans what a gorgeous set up. Tthis would have provided many needed jobs to the area plus taxes. He was about a third of the way into completion and finally threw in the towel because they were giving him so much trouble and so many obstacles you cant do this you cant do that He just walked away a took a heavy loss. CMON matawan when are you going to wake up
LGA March 13, 2013 at 01:38 AM
If i was Quick Check, I'd close the store and move it into Aberdeen. I moved both my home and business out a few years ago. I live in middletown now and work just up rt 79 in Marlboro. Marlboro is so much better to work with. They even support local business with "shop Marlboro" campaign and they give tax credits to residents that do shop in town. Great town Marlboro.
Gabrielle Scibor March 13, 2013 at 07:21 PM
This town is going down hill fast !!! My husband and I own the big blue house on Main Street in matawan ,,, the town did the same thing to us and denied us too !! We are moving out too of this town it is horrible and going nowhere !!! I hope the house fall down one day ,, I looks terrible too but the town won't let us do anything to it !!! It didn't surprise me that they denied it !!! The people that run the town need to go !!! We need new people really !!! Hey I love marloboro pizza I go there all the time and my son goes to that wawa too my husband has his landscaping company in marloboro ,,, great town and the run the town great !!! The town of matawan should be ashamed of themselves !!!!! They are driving the people out of the town !!!
Rolo Tomassi March 15, 2013 at 03:17 PM
People of Matawan--wake up!!The mayor appointed these people to the planning board. He is behind their votes of denying Quik Chek. You can thank the mayor for your tax increases each year when his hand picked zoning board refuses a company to do business in Matawan This year is your chance to vote out Clifton and Gould and send the mayor a message that HE is next. He has grand plans for the redevelopment of the train station but WE have been waiting 10 years for this to happen. Now is the time to scrap the plans for the redevelopment and start bringing ratables to our town NOW!! What does the MAYOR owe to the redevelopers of the train station? Have THEY contributed to his party or re-election funds? People of Matawan need to ask one question, "Has the town become a better place to live under this MAYOR and COUNCIL or have things gotten worse?" YOU can answer that question by voting out his handpicked cronies who vote YES down the line with every ordinance and agenda he puts forth. THEY are not concerned about the citizens of Matawan but only themselves.
j r April 16, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I Vote for another Hot Rock Massage PArlor !!!!!!!

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