Quickchek Mountain Ave Project

Heard that Quickchek has proposed moving to another location again. Did anyone go to the meeting about this? I had heard it was shot down the first time.

animal lover animal lover
Dec '16

Which Quickchek? There's one on Mountain Ave, one on Stiger, and one on 517.

Dancicus Fighticus Dancicus Fighticus
Dec '16

Mountain Ave

animal lover animal lover
Dec '16

Quickchek had for months been trying to get approval to build a store and gas station at the intersection of Bells Lane and Mountain Ave. across from their current store.

They want to knock down 3 houses on mountain Ave and 2 on Washington I believe

They are having a hard time getting approval as that is already a busy and awkward intersection

Jim L Jim L
Dec '16

The quickchek on Mountain Ave is GOD AWFUL. Raze it.

HLamusesme HLamusesme
Dec '16

Good news but if they want to add gas then they need to sell "Top Tier" gas like Sinclair...


Goodluck!!!! Nothing wrong with cash cow one on main st..If they can get a new one built y not??

Mr. tone Mr. tone
Dec '16

I heard they are moving to where the old Mobil station was. Apparently they are knocking that down and then will be knocking down the strip mall behind it. Again....all rumor...

WhoKnows
Dec '16

Where was the Mobil?


You must mean the BP station on High Street, they are putting a Fulton Bank there.

cloudyday cloudyday
Dec '16

If the approval has not been granted yet, then why is QuickChek employees saying it is a done deal? Also, why do we need another gas station on that road. Mountain Ave. traffic is terrible now. Jim L what phase is this proposal in at this time?

animal lover animal lover
Dec '16

animal lover, perhaps you're not out on the roads after 11, but if you need gas in town your only option is to drive up to the Quick Check on 517. It would be nice to have an all-night option in town. That lot across from their current Mountain Ave location would seem like a good, convenient spot.

Sycamore
Dec '16

I know there was a subcommittee meeting made up of zoning and planning board members a few months back. The subcommittee did not approve it then. They then went in front of the historic society and again did not get approval votes. Since then I don't know what they have done

I guess we will find out more at the January planning board meeting but I would not consider it a done deal by any stretch at this moment in time

Jim L Jim L
Dec '16

Sycamore, perhaps you do not try to go up either Mountain Ave or Washington during the day now...traffic is terrible. Also Washington Ave has historical houses, who wants to see another gas station. Hackettstown is slowly being ruined by greed.

animal lover animal lover
Dec '16

Sycamore I'm not sure if that is realistic to think they would be open late if they were to get approval due to the closeness to residential homes. Same reason why cvs did not get approval for a 24hour store at Bergen.

Jim L Jim L
Dec '16

Thank you Jim L. What can the residents do to voice their opinions?

animal lover animal lover
Dec '16

cloudyday - I don't think they mean BP and High St at all. This is about Mountain Ave.

Greg - Mobil turned into Lukoil and is next to Chase Bank, directly across from Raceway.

WhoKnows - There is no strip mall behind the old Mobil. The old strip mall is further down on the other side of Applebee's. That's already been knocked down when Lions Gate was proposed.

Moving to the old Mobile would have far more sense than the Bell's Lane location. It already had the tanks previously and the in and out is regulated by the light further down at Lowe's. If they end up proposing that, I suspect it will get a far better response from the town board. But someone else can better comment on that. ;-)


the next Planning Board meeting is on Jan 24th
the next Zoning Board meeting in on Jan 17th

I am not sure if it will be discussed at either of those meeting because I am not sure where they are in the process. But I would suggest those meeting would be a good place to voice your concerns at.

Again not only has approvals not been granted but a formal application has not even been presented to the Planning Board as of the last meeting. So again I would say way too early to call it a done deal.

Jim L Jim L
Dec '16

There was notification issued that it will be discussed at the next zoning board meeting on January 17, 2017. The plan is to tear down many of the houses on Mountain Ave and Washington Street to build a massive quick check and gas station at the bottom (across from the existing Quick Check).

I am opposed to tearing down residential homes on Washington & Mountain Ave to build yet another gas station when there are two up the street and another down the hill. Shame on Quick Check because they could have as easily taken over the defunct gas station space across from Raceway and built that up without having to tear down homes. Shame on Van and his family as well.


As an aside I attended the Historical Society/Board meeting in November where the attorney's presented the plans and argued for the industrial expansion. Since a few of the houses are considered historical they made their arguments against why the homes should no longer be considered historical. The Board bounced it to zoning since most of the space is zoned residential not industrial. The minutes should be available as should plans which they presented at the meeting - the station/store appear bigger than the one on 517.


Thank you Bonv for that info, I wasn't sure who they were going to get in front of next.

Jim L Jim L
Dec '16

Thanks GC- I was having a brain freeze for a moment. The strip mall behind it is what had me confused.
I also agree that the location on that corner is not the best choice. In addition, tearing down homes for this type of monstrosity is unnecessary when there are other locations more suitable to build on. Naturally the owner, Van it appears, would prefer to get the approvals for his property as I would gather there is some sort of sale/lease agreement pending the outcome. Quick Chek could simply contact Vornado regarding the vacant Mobil site and move along. I'm guessing that site may not fit the current conceptual plan for the new eyesore, I mean building.
Boy, if he joins forces with the crew who bulldozed (pun intended) their way with marginal concern at best for the local residents at the other end of town with the CVS, Hackettstown will be doomed.


no way houses should come down for a quick chek and I love quick chek, I'm there pretty much everyday. but let's be real.

scottso scottso
Dec '16

The new location on Mt Ave and Washington St will be a Traffic nightmare!! I am afraid to say that there will be many vehicle accidents and not a safe place in my opinion.

LittleRascal LittleRascal
Dec '16

The Paftinos' have never seen a building they didn't want to tear down. How the town let them tear down the Central House is still a crime - no backbone from our various boards and council.

The problem here is that because of a wink and a nod from the Mayor and a former councilman, the son went ahead and bought those houses at a premium assuming he could push this through. Now, if he can't get it built he'll take a bath trying to unload them so he is pulling out all the stops.

Hopefully the town shows a little more resolve this time.

Provocateur
Dec '16

Well said Provocateur. Quick Check has also spent a fair amount of money on pushing this through - at the historical society meeting they had several attorneys, an "expert" explaining why the houses should no longer be historical, architect plus a few more. It appeared that behind the doors deals had already been made and that the zoning variance will be approved. Ultimately the historical society did not have a quorum in attendance.

I hope that people turnout out to the January 17th meeting - that location is residential for a reason but even if it weren't that location is probably one of the worst for a gas station/store.


Bonv, what do you mean as far as behind the doors deals? Is there not a protocol they have to follow?

animal lover animal lover
Dec '16

AL - it was just an impression based on some of the conversations overheard during the meeting.


Me personally I think it's a bad idea I've almost gotten hit by cars turning on bells lane drivers don't pay attention now mind you i was walking

Debbie Debbie
Dec '16

I heard a WaWa was coming on Mountain Ave. with a gas station,next to Applebees.


what is supposed to happen to the existing quick chek on mountain ave? another vacant building?

scottso scottso
Dec '16

It was shot down - not happening....they wanted to move the Quick Check on Mt Ave across the street to the old monument lot and the houses up the the line with a gas station and store like up on 517.

Not happening - they already killed it - traffic concerns.


great news RU. ty

scottso scottso
Dec '16

RU it is not dead. It is definitely going in front of the zoning board on January 17th at 7:30 pm - notices have been served. QuickCheck Corporation has applied for premilinary & final major site plan approval and variances for the construction of a 5,596 square foot store and fuel dispensing. The plan is tear down 134 through 140 on Mountain Ave and 721 through 727 on Washington St.


Scottso - I hope that they open it to public comments but I'll call next week to find out for sure. Not sure about the existing building - lots of rumors but they are all over the place.


bonv - what is the plan for the existing building?

and can we voice our opposition at the meeting on the 17th? like is it up for debate or no?

Looking at google earth that's 6 total houses, 4 on mountain ave. and 2 on Washington?

scottso scottso
Dec '16

If they move across the street the existing store will become vacant.

Yes public is welcome to voice their concerns/opinions at the Jan 17th meeting

Jim L Jim L
Dec '16

Trivia question..what was the quickchek on mountain Ave before is was quick chek?

Bug3
Dec '16

krausers


dss,


Wawa is the best. Way better than QC. Hope your right.

Hot under the collar
Dec '16

Wawa is better...


WaWa wants to go in next to AppleBee's on mountain Ave. Store with gas station

It hasn't been approved yet. But their application has been submitted.

Jim L Jim L
Dec '16

It was always Quik Chek. Before that there was another building with a storefront which I believe was a beauty salon at one point.

Grizzly Adams
Dec '16

Wawa doesn't sell Pepsi fountain drinks so they're dead to me. :-)

Smilingbecs Smilingbecs
Dec '16

Everyone complains about taxes but this backwards little town does very little to try to bring in solid commercial contributors to the bottom line. Roadblocks at every opportunity. Look at your property values, people. This area is dying and this type of small minded thinking is contributing to that downward slide. I am sure WaWa will have an uphill battle too.

texaskeystone texaskeystone
Dec '16

Hardly small minded to have residential neighborhoods remain residential. Small minded is what has gotten us into the problems we are having with traffic, too many approved "projects" where empty lots and buildings are already available. WaWa will most move forward because they choose a piece of property that is already commercial and well regulated for traffic - they unlike QuickCheck & the property owners - appear to have thought out what's best for traffic/Hackettstown.


Bonv - I agree. Not only is WaWa likely to move ahead quickly, it's just the right spot to help make it succeed. In addition I would also say the local property values are doing far better than other areas near by. And even more, if you think about QC expanding, Wawa wanting to move in, a new Autozone, CVS expansion, and the new Dollar General - how does all of that translate to "this area is dying". Plus the three breweries have made Hackettstown a destination. There are literally bus tours running that bring groups around on a craft beer ride.

Hackettstown is clearly not dying at all.


Bonv, the proposed location is directly across the street from the current location. Across the street. It's not exactly encroaching upon a "residential" neighborhood because it's already in one. In fact, one could almost argue that the area is already commercial but with remnants of some residential elements strewn in: the repair shops across the street, and medical and office buildings a little further up on both sides.

The question about traffic will be on how much additional business the new building will bring. I personally doubt it would be that much more because that area is already heavily traveled due to other businesses being in the area. At the top of the hill are two gas stations already, and down Mountain Ave you have the Raceway. IOW, the gas traffic already passes through the area.

Besides, if the state would fix the timing at the 5 corners light to allow more flow through the Mountain Ave direction then that alone would fix most of traffic that diverts to Washington just to bypass Main Street due to traffic light delays. If traffic is the main concern, IMO we'd get much more bang for the buck by dealing with that problem instead.

justintime justintime
Dec '16

JIT - Washington St is completely residential and while there is a lot of thru traffic it is still a residential neighborhood.

As pointed out there are already 3 gas stations within a mile of the proposed site so why exactly should a residential area be rezoned for yet another gas station? The proposed location, just as you are going up/down the hill, will be a problem regardless of timing of the 5 corners light. The traffic won't just be cars but delivery trucks for the much larger QuickCheck store and gas tankers.


It's all about greed. These properties were all bought by Pete Paftinos for a total of $3,500,000.00. He must have a big payday in store. That's the bottom line to this project. Pete does not even live in this town, so why would he care how it impacts the town and it's residents?

Also, the HHS athletic field is in close proximity of the proposed gas station. Isn't there a law that no gas stations can be within 500 ft. of any school property?

Above info can be verified here: http://tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us/

Richie
Dec '16

So just to clarify, the 6 houses, proposed to be demolished, are all vacant and owned by the person who wishes to demolish them and build a new QC and gas station?

I think the addition of a gas station in that spot would definitely increase traffic in a negative way. Just because gas stations already exist on that stretch of road, doesn't mean people would not use this new one. In addition, this spot would require making a left turn from the northbound side, which is a single lane road. I think it's a terrible idea. The Wawa on Mountain Ave is a much better plan, even though southbound people will make a left turn into that as well, instead of going to the traffic light by Applebees, but at least there is a second lane there to get around if possible.

Tracy Tracy
Dec '16

" Washington St is completely residential and while there is a lot of thru traffic it is still a residential neighborhood."

The proposed building isn't on Washington. The issue there would be traffic, wouldn't it? That's why I mentioned that the real issue us the light at 5 corners, the main reason traffic would funnel onto Washington St.

"there are already 3 gas stations within a mile of the proposed site so why exactly should a residential area be rezoned for yet another gas station?"

Define residential area please. How close to housing would a business have to be in order to be considered as impacting a "residential" area? Arent the residences around the 517 QC just as close? What about all the homes behind the Mountain Ave business strip? As I noted above, the immediate location is barely residential at this point already.

Sticking with the traffic issue makes sense, but the other stuff just sounds like NIMBY.

Btw, I do agree that it's a silly place to put a big quick check. The impact on the residential neighborhood on Washington would be negative *if* the 5 corners light were not dealt with, so any proposal would have to include a traffic study/solution for 5 corners.

Also agree that another gas station isn't needed, but who am I to limit competition for business? Four stations would probably be around for a short while until one or more go bust because of the competition, then drop back to a number appropriate for the size of the community.

justintime justintime
Dec '16

"The proposed building isn't on Washington." Wrong. The proposed project includes tearing down a few homes on Washington St so that the entire bottom half of the hill on Mountain and Washington will be a new store, gas station, parking lot, outside eating tables.


Tracy. Those homes are not all vacant. Two are empty because the owner is planning on tearing all of them down so he did not rent them again.

animal lover animal lover
Dec '16

Everyone complains about taxes but this backwards little town does very little to try to bring in solid commercial contributors to the bottom line.

Your point is great in principle but not in practice.

Quik Chek and WaWa will get more money from sales. The gentlemen who is selling the property to Quik Chek will make money. The town will get more money in taxes from Quik Chek and WaWa. Good for all of them, I'm not against people or businesses making money.

But, will the taxpayers get anything except another place to spend more of our money? Will these new establishments cause my property taxes to go down 1 cent? NOPE. Hard to support this as a regular tax paying fellow. There is zero upside for the community.

scottso scottso
Dec '16

I agree with scottso, yeah the town, will make money with WaWa or expanding Quick Chek with that help our taxes. No they will find another tax. I feel we need to fill all the empty building in town before we start building new ones.


You will never build your way to lower taxes. It doesn't work that way.

Grizzly Adams
Jan '17

Happened in Bridgewater until the education board and police/fire took advantage of the relatively low taxes and brought them up to almost par for NJ...


Wow lots of information and opinions on this thread, so I'll include another.

1) Not just the tear down of existing homes, but the quality of life for the remaining homes on Washington, Bells Lane and Mountain Avenue goes WAY down with the lights, traffic and noise from this proposal. Ask the folks by the CVS and Bank of America how that's working out.

2) There are plenty of locations to put this (Sorry QC, Wawa won that race) - there is no need at all to rezone with plenty of already properly zoned properties, especially for yet another gas station.

3) For me the space in question would be better used as PUBLIC space - when the monument company went down, the town should have bought it - it would be a great location for any number of events as well as a larger space for our monuments currently at the gazebo. I know it's never going to happen, but it would have been nice especially since the parades end up down there anyway.

trekster3- trekster3-
Jan '17

Why can't the Paftino's tear down the houses or renovate and make them much needing affordable senior housing?? Sadly most of Van's apts are not affordable to a good amount of Seniors on a very tight budget. There is an empty gas station right down the road on Mountain Ave.....go there Quick Chek!!!

Virginia Virginia
Jan '17

Honestly - because low income restricted housing is not a great tax ratable and they don't need any more mount laurel units. Unfortunate but true

skippy skippy
Jan '17

Trekster, right on with your third point. The least QC could do is clean up the spot they are vacating, or help the displaced families relocate. People are losing their homes so QC can sell more stuff in an area where they already have 3 locations.

Scottso Scottso
Jan '17

Why would a business do anything it's not contractually obligated to do? They're not an altruistic venture

skippy skippy
Jan '17

Trekster - good points.

@Scottso - hopefully enough people will show up on January 17th to oppose rezoning these areas as commercial/industrial.


Reminder the Zoning board meeting is tomorrow the 17th at 7:30PM.

The agenda is posted on the town website:

http://www.hackettstown.net/


Skippy, some business actually operate under moral guidelines not just profitability. They may never become Trump industries, but they may become Ben & Jerry's, which buys milk from local sources and dedicates part of their gross earning to charities.

Not saying that a business should ignore profits, but they may make a corporate decision to not sacrifice moral obligations for profit. Laws by their nature are a minimum set of rules that must be obeyed, morals can be more restrictive (but unless they are willing to break the law.) they cannot be less restrictive.

Agust Agust
Jan '17

if they want to that's great - Ben and Jerry's also just threw their hat in the political arena - I would rather not support domestic terrorists with my ice cream purchase - they support BLM.

http://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2016/why-black-lives-matter

they can take their "rocky road to equality" and choke on it.

skippy skippy
Jan '17

Skippy,

Ben & Jerry's is owned by Unilever...

B &J sold out some time ago.

Have to wonder, how much ice cream is purchased with WIC ?

Steven Steven
Jan '17

Well unilever has a political agenda then - go to their website

skippy skippy
Jan '17

Agreed .

Steven Steven
Jan '17

More Ben & Jerry's for me then

helpthekitty helpthekitty
Jan '17

Good reminder, Greg.

January 17th at 7:30PM -- Municipal Building

http://www.hackettstown.net/


Skippy Chik-Fil-A also made a moral decision in their marketing and either suffered or benefited from it. But the decision was based not on profit but the beliefs of the owner. So Skippy, the point is not weather you agree with it or not, just that it is a factor that should be made by the business owner not by the government.

Again laws are a minimum set of rules, each business can go beyond that if they choose to. Which was your original question, why would they consider policies outside of profit.

Feel free to boycott or support whoever you want. Not my concern.

Agust Agust
Jan '17

sure I completely agree with all of that - Hobby Lobby did the same thing - but I also agree they have no obligation to relocate displaced families if they are operating within the law - would be nice sure, not required. I think we agree.

skippy skippy
Jan '17

Not a lot of movement at the meeting tonight. It's still in the compliance stage prior to actual hearings.
An important issue is the determination regarding the homes to be razed as related to their historical importance / status. They are in the historic district now as they are some of the earliest in town. The historic committee "punted" their decision to the planning board it appears. The applicant, Quick Check has supplied a historical and architectural assessment of the properties. If I was a betting man I would gather that report will show they no longer have historical importance as they are in need of repair and a large percentage of the original materials has been replaced or removed. I feel if the foundation as well as the bones of the house are still intact, it is a historic structure. I have always stated we need to give our past a future.
You can see from the photo I've attached it's a very large project affecting many homes on Washington and Bells Lane. I know the developers there tonight spoke of the economic impact in a positive manner as well as job creation. In my opinion they should bring in a realtor with a magic wand that will be able to save a sliver of the property values for those poor people that have adjoining properties. In addition the traffic would be a complete nightmare at the corner of Bells lane and Mountain Ave. Also as a 24 hour business, the light show will be lovely in that whole area.
We shall see how this progresses. I encourage folks to attend the next meeting February 21st.


Re: Quickchek Mountain Ave Project

Forgot the photo.


You cant buy ice cream with WIC.

Botheredbyuu2 Botheredbyuu2
Jan '17

"Bonv, the proposed location is directly across the street from the current location. Across the street. It's not exactly encroaching upon a "residential" neighborhood because it's already in one."

I agree with JIT and Trekster on this one. That is a residential area today. It is also the "buffer" between Mountain Ave commercial and our finest historic district.

Razing a residential block to be replace by QC where the QC will back right up and be closer than ever to our historic district seems needless given all the choice locations available in town.

Not to mention probably being one of our worse places to focus new traffic problems. Just envision the current 517 QC landing there. Probably just upset they couldn't get the Salvation Army location which would really screw with our traffic patterns.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jan '17

I grew up in Kenwood and know the traffic nightmare that often backs up in the Bells Lane/Washington Street/Mountain Avenue area. Even now, when I go to my parents' house, I avoid the Bells Lane/Mountain Avenue intersection. This will only make it worse.

The traffic congestion that would happen when there are home football games is crazy to even think about.

Htown Resident Htown Resident
Jan '17

Washington ave is the go-to for missing the light at 5 points. I am sure this will really impact traffic - may need a light on Washington and Bells Ln

skippy skippy
Jan '17

So, I put out an opinion piece on the Patch --- if anyone see's any edits, please email me ---

Thanks, Wendy

http://patch.com/new-jersey/hackettstown/does-hackettstown-really-need-another-gas-station

trekster3- trekster3-
Jan '17

Greg - good summary but to be fair to the Historical Society they did not punt the decision that was the paraphrasing from the Town's attorney who was not at the meeting. Ultimately the Historical Society did not have a quorum when this was presented so they couldn't make a decision and they correctly pointed out that they would not be able to make a decision on tearing down homes - that's not within their mandate. Their speakers and reports showed that the homes no longer have original materials and as such should no longer be considered historical. Interestingly enough the Historical Society doesn't require owners to replace with original materials so a bit of a catch 22.

"...may need a light on Washington and Bells Ln" My understanding is that this was assessed and determined that they would not add a light at this location.

I hope that we see a good turnout at the next meeting - whether you support or oppose the rezoning of residential homes on Washington St and building of commercial.


Thanks for the clarification Bonv. I was wondering why the attorney said it that way. It makes sense now knowing there was simply not a quorum. I was not aware other than a recommendation I gather, they can not make a ruling either way regarding demolition of a structure. I did some research today regarding the Historic Commission however I was unable to find anything in the town code or website. I must be missing it. I would just like to learn a bit more of what their responsibilities are and such.
It's clear the attorney for the developer is eager to show the structures are no longer relevant historically as a young lady from the firm was making a strong pitch with me about it. We had a nice talk as I had spent many years dealing with the State Historic Preservation Office as well as the Historic Commission in Trenton. I take a pessimistic view however as the same developer was able to tear down a beautiful intact four square style home on Washington Street opposite the middle school a few years back with seemingly little resistance.
We shall see.... The more people that are informed the better.


Greg - the code may be listed in the minutes because Quick Check's lead counsel kept reminding the Board what their responsibilities were under the code (limited responsibilities). The Board members referenced remorse about the building that was demolished from the monument lot.


This just seems like an OK idea that's in the wrong place.

I mean, sure who needs another gas station but to me, the Quick Chek facilities are nicer than many and more convenient than most.

Just put it in a better place, not between two traffic throttle points (5 points and the Mickey D's intersection) just in front of the major shunt (Washington) used to avoid the throttle point. Even with road improvements, you are adding a third throttle point to a very messy traffic area.

Heck, sell em part of the farm to front a new cut through from 57 to 46. Actually relieve the traffic from Mountain Ave this way. Win-win.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jan '17

I don't think we need another Quick Check/Gas Station in Hackettstown. The traffic at that point is already congested as Washington St. and Bells Lane are already cut through from Route 57. Also this will probably effect the people and their homes that are not being threatened. If these people decide to sell their homes is going to want to purchase them when they are located in such a heavy traffic area, not to mention a lot of transients. You have the schools right there as well as families with children.

I have been in this area all my life. Hackettstown use to be a nice family town, and still is, but if we keep building it's not going to be that quaint little town anymore. I have watched it go from a small country town to a busy little city and it's sad. We don't need any more convenience stores or gas stations. We have enough.

As for the proprietor that owns the property on which these 5 houses are located, well I'm sorry, but they already own half of Hackettstown. Are they not pulling in enough income from their other properties? If you want to buy, sell or build big office buildings or apartment complexes then do it in the bigger cities. To me this is just another way for this owner to put more money in their pockets, because they sure don't care about the town.

MelRay MelRay
Jan '17

The next time we get a Sandy incident we will need it for people to walk and wait in line for their gas for generators...


I have a petition opposing the qickchek being but in that location if anyone is interested in signing it please let me know

Debbie Debbie
Jan '17

I believe this is just progress. Use your "ammo" to get the construction more "historic" looking. This will cost extra money, fight for it now or it will never be done...


Ijay how is this progress? Would you want to raise your children by a gas station add more traffic horrors and have your home depreciated?

Animal lover Animal lover
Jan '17

"Progress" which it is, not the literal meaning of progress which it isn't. I agree for those nearby it would only be negative...


For most people travelling through town it will only be negative. If you are coming down or going up Mountain Ave, you will have delays because of cars pulling in and out. For those living on Washington, Bells, Victoria, Mitchell and Arthur Terrace significantly more traffic will develop as drivers try to figure out how to bypass the congestion. For the town, it will be a loss of the residential feel and more of the congested industrial feel.


Has the town engineer voiced an opinion on the traffic ?

skippy skippy
Jan '17

Their application was deemed incomplete so there was no review of the application so therefore no one has officially given their opinion yet.

Jim L Jim L
Jan '17

Thanks jim

skippy skippy
Jan '17

No offense Bonv - but hasn't that already happened. That ship has sailed. Unfortunate but I don't see it changing. Yes, people can go to meetings and get things slowed down or change the look and feel of said building, but in the end it will be built, if not Quick Check someone else.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
Jan '17

No offense taken CBB. I don't think the ship has sailed completely but if Washington St is rezoned then it will be the end because why just stop at the bottom of the hill. In the end if zoning keeps it residential it won't be built there by QC or anyone else.


I agree. I can see where the Main Street side of Washington could turn more commercial pretty quickly.

To me, the near term effect is more important:
- new convenient hang out place for school kids from both schools
- really bad traffic patterns bring more cars to 5 points and Washington
- even more traffic on Washington Street.
- probably no improvement to 5 points intersection
- more toxic runoff to the Musky

I say find a better location for everyone. Given em the uncompleted mall next to the take-out-place-formerly-known-as-Golden-Skillet, put through the 57 to 46 extension and now almost everybody's happy. Great location, ez access from Schoolies, 57, mountain, and 46. Relieves 5 points and East Ave Traffic.

Or there's got to be other, better, locations.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jan '17

SD


I agree with your views.... very conservative and a solid interpretation of existing town regulations.

Vote2020
Jan '17

Stanger Danger...WaWa is rumored to be taking the unfinished mall next to the old Golden Skillet

I think that is one reason QC is trying so hard to get the Mtn Ave location.

Hot under the collar
Jan '17

This just keeps getting better and better! Now the owner of this proposed project not only wants to knock down 5 houses which count towards the towns obligation towards COAH, but now also wants to backtrack on the agreement his father made on the Bilby Road project. He wants to back out of the 40% agreement made and back it down to 10%, which would greatly increase the towns obligation towards COAH, at I believe $25,000.00 per unit. This man is really showing his true colors on how he feels about this town, but then again, he doesn't even live in town! He is just a developer trying to get every dollar out of the town as he can! His father was certainly a different person than him, that's for sure!!......This all happened at last night's Planning Board meeting. Maybe Jim L can add to this?

Richie
Jan '17

The developer at bilby road stated that he is having issues getting a loan on the project due to the high level of COAH. He also stated that since the town allowed bergen tool to buy out, he was hoping to be given the same option.

This is the problem with counting on plans that are approved but not built.

As for the quick check project, I have not gotten fully engulfed yet, but just based on where they want to put it, and knocking down residential to put it there, I am at a NO right now. That area is dangerous enough as it is to enter/exit at peak times.

Darrin Darrin
Jan '17

Yes. I do not like this project. Too busy an area for it.

Mansfield mama Mansfield mama
Jan '17

Just a heads up the zoning meeting scheduled for next week has been canceled. All matters will carry over to the March meeting. I don't believe they are going to renotice so those that got notice of the Quick Chek project please mark your calendars for the March 21st meeting.

Jim L Jim L
Feb '17

Hope the town turns out for this one.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '17

Thanks Jim, I had it on my calendar ---

trekster3- trekster3-
Feb '17

Me too, thanks for the update. PS - they will be sending out notices again because their original notices were defective - listed as January 17, 2016.


Oh That's right Bonv. I forgot the messed up the year in the original notice. However if they noticed for February I don't if they will for March. If they never noticed for February then yes they will for March.

Jim L Jim L
Feb '17

Growing up in South Jersey, I would LOVE to see a WaWa in town.

alpha1beta alpha1beta
Feb '17

This is back on the agenda for March 21st at 7:30 pm.


According to a letter sent to homeowners, this building is going to be 5500 square feet. I am not sure but, it seems like this Quickchek is going to be larger than the one on route 517. Hope people show to the meeting tonight.

animal lover animal lover
Mar '17

It is larger than the one on 517. A ridiculously large monstrosity in a residential neighborhood.


That area is very dangerous for travel how it is, along with the congestion during peak times. Making a right out of Bells Lane is hard enough how it is now.

I can't think of a worst place to put it

Enough already with pushing commercial on residential areas!

The town already ruined the privacy and safety of residents of East Stiger. Now it seems the residents on the other side of town are next. This will have a major influx on Washington as well IMO.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '17

Thank you Greg and Darrin...couldn't agree with you more.

animal lover animal lover
Mar '17

Has anyone brought up at these meetings the impact this would have on the underground creeks and streams under that area? There is bad flooding in that area now. I would tend to believe that this is going to cause major ecological issues underground as well as additional flooding issues in that area.

animal lover animal lover
Mar '17

Currently it is only zoning meetings, to allow the change from residential to commercial, and I do not think they have had a formal one yet, their application has not been deemed complete.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '17

how is this even being considered at all since it's in the highlands?


Whip,

Htown is in the highlands development zone, not the preservation zone, unfortunately.

beagiver
Mar '17

How do you find the agendas for these meetings? I've checked the town web page and all they have is a schedule of meetings...am I missing something? Thank you.

jpb3302 jpb3302
Mar '17

On the front page of Hackettstown.net all the way on the bottom, are the agendas for the various meetings.


The town has the plans. If you stop in the construction office you can ask to see them. I looked at them today....other then a gas station in middle of residential, it looks like a traffic disaster. I did see plans for a retention basin on the property...and a dumpster about 30-40 feet from a remaining house, but as far as traffic flow, it just doesn't make sense with safety in mind.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '17

The Attorney representing Quick Chek has requested that the application be carried to the next Zoning Board meeting which is scheduled for Tuesday April 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm.

Michele Morpeth Michele Morpeth
Mar '17

Does that mean it is not on the agenda for tonight at all?

animal lover animal lover
Mar '17

I would say not, when a meeting is carried they usually do not even show up. Sometimes some details as to why are given though

Darrin Darrin
Mar '17

Seems odd that they just served residents last week and it's still on the agenda. Does anyone know if there is a way to verify before the meeting - or at this late stage is it "attend the meeting to find out"?


Bonv,

Unfortunately this has become the normal. The bergen tool project postponed so many times that (IMO) many people lost interest and stopped showing up. Sometimes it is because applications are not complete, other times it is for other reasons.

In the end, there were very few residents remaining and the project was approved, so all I can say is stay vigilant, and try to keep on top of the meetings.

The meetings where no public shows up, the boards sometimes go with the "silent majority"

As far as quick check, at last nights meeting they did deem their application complete, so it is at least close to being heard.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '17

Thanks, Darrin.


Darrin, the resolution that was approved last night deemed the application INCOMPLETE... they will need to provide the documentation and outages in order for the board to deem the application complete. Once that occurs then the case can be heard.

Michele Morpeth Michele Morpeth
Mar '17

Thank you Michele, my bad!

Darrin Darrin
Mar '17

Thanks for the update. For now it sounds like both matters will be heard on April 18th.


If QC really wants to build something, they should give up on the idea of buying the proposed property from Pete, and look into buying the property on the left side of their existing building.

Richie
Mar '17

Richie that property is not for sale and has some good businesses in there. That's a terrible idea!

infogirl
Mar '17

Infogirl, it was not really meant to be a viable idea, but rather just saying that that side is a much better fit than the proposed area!!

Richie
Mar '17

I like the signs folks are putting up near the site in protest.

I understand there is a petition against this project. Does anyone have information about how to sign it?


Hello all I am the one with the petition and willing to meet if yall would like to sign it

Debbie Debbie
Apr '17

The signs look good.
Debbie, I'll reach out to you to sign the petition.


sounds good

Debbie Debbie
Apr '17

pm'd you about signing, but maybe it didn't go through. Will sign if you can get here. Leaving Sunday afternoon for a week of testing at Penn Transplant Institute

Dansker Dansker
Apr '17

For anyone Interested in signing the petition Sunday at 1 in the parking lot at hot beagles of broad on mountain ave let me know

Debbie Debbie
Apr '17

Hi Debbie - I sent you a message but not sure if you saw it. I'll be there on Sunday.

Dansker - I hope you're feeling better & good luck next week.


I will outside

Debbie Debbie
Apr '17

Hot beagles ? Lets not turn this into an animal rights issue

eapos eapos
Apr '17

Does anyone know where I can get a NO sign?

Wash.St.Resident Wash.St.Resident
Apr '17

eapos, I thought maybe the Yulin festival was coming stateside, lol.

ianimal ianimal
Apr '17

Wash.St.Resident - I sent you a PM.


Hello Debbie

We will be there Sunday to sign the petition. Thank you


Hot Bagels Abroad.


thank youuuuu everyone who signed my petition all week from 4-5 and Friday from 12 noon to 2:30 we are at 210 so far we need as many as we can get see you all there

Debbie Debbie
Apr '17

For those who want to sign the petition against the quick check going in on mountain ave bells lane and Washington Street at 4-5 I will be in the parking lot of Hot beagles abroad today-Friday hope to see you all there

Debbie Debbie
Apr '17

How does somebody get a sign?

animal lover animal lover
Apr '17

Sorry guys I know your going to hate this, but I signed the yes to quick check petition. There is one for yes going around.

auntiel auntiel
Apr '17

AL - I sent you a PM.


Where are they putting this? On the empty lot next to the existing Quick Check?

Metsman Metsman
Apr '17

The applicant's attorney has requested that the matter be carried until the May 16,2017 meeting. The Zoning Board meeting has been cancelled for Tuesday April 18,2017.

Michele Morpeth Michele Morpeth
Apr '17

Thank you Michele for keeping us updated.


auntiel,

Okay, so tell us why you think it would be beneficial.....or are you just looking for a reaction?

Correct Metsman, its not approved yet, in process of attempting

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

No reaction Darrin, I'm serious. I want an all service station in that part of town. I think it would do quite well and give the community a much needed service. I fuel my vehicle every day, the convenience of getting gas, coffee, and a sandwich all at the same time is the way to go. Time is of the essence. With Quickchek it saves time, mileage and stops.

auntiel auntiel
Apr '17

Metsman - yes + they are asking for a zoning variance to tear down 2 houses on Washington St (zoning away from residential) and 2 or 3 houses on Mt. Ave.


I am against this! There is already too much traffic on Washington Street, Bells Ave and Route 46! Plus you have the traffic for the middle school and high school.

Who was the genius that thought putting a gas station in this area was a good idea?

We have plenty of gas stations? Why do we need another one?

Why fix something that doesn't need to be fixed? It's all about corporate n $$. Corporate America is slowly destroying small towns! IMHO!

Realist1 Realist1
Apr '17

Sorry about yesterday wasn't feeling good but I'll be at Bagels abroad today from 4 o'clock this afternoon till 5 this afternoon

Debbie Debbie
Apr '17

auntiel, while I agree with you about convenience, i think the issue here is location. IMO it would be unsafe to put such a establishment that has many people going in and out in such a already busy intersection.

And there is also the issue of again, as normal with this town....commercial encroaching on residential.

There is plans in the making for a wawa gas station/convenience next to applebeas that may be able to fit your needs.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

If I could have it my way, I would be all for a Wawa gas station/convenience store near Applebee's. That way the people have a choice to use the one here on Mt Ave OR the one on top of the hill past m&m.

Having something that big, right next to and in front of the homes there (with all the 24 hour lights and noise) sounds stupid to me. They should sell half that plot of land to someone to put a nice house on it, facing Washington St and the town should purchase the back half (Mountain Ave side) to keep it open with the sidewalk and maybe a bench or two and some nice trees and keep it owned by the town.

Quick Check should upgrade their building (like Dunkin did a few years ago...) or just get rid of it entirely, once the Wawa goes in.

Heidi Heidi
Apr '17

That would be great Heidi it could be a lovely open space. The town could make it a nice place to perhaps recognize various town residents throughout history in some sort of tasteful memorial park if you will.
Unfortunately the owner of the land the Paftinos' family, wants the maximum return on their investment. Taking down homes in the historic district near the school and simply destroying that residential area of the neighborhood as well as creating a traffic mess for the residents of that area and anyone traveling on Mountain ave is clearly no concern to them. Lets face it their long history of developing and redeveloping properties in this town goes back a long way with both positive results and some dubious projects. I gather this gives them some sort of perceived leverage or at least a thorough understanding of what it takes in town to push through and get what they want. Quick Chek et al is simply acting in a typical corporate fashion as well. Basically screw what exists there now we want a larger space on a busy street with high visibility. Property values and quality of life for the remaining homes in the area is simply just collateral damage to them.
It would be disgraceful in my opinion if the town allows this to happen. While the CVS project was similar in the slash and burn mentality the existing property there certainly was an eyesore and needed to be addressed in some fashion. Without residents like Darrin trying to keep that project sane and on the up and up, god only knows what may have happened.
We must be vocal about opposing this project.


Not to mention, the traffic coming in and out of Bells La is crazy as it is. All you need is one car turning left onto Mt. Ave and it gets all backed up. If they put the Quick Check there, the next thing they will need is a traffic light on the corner and then they will need one on Water St. I can see this ballooning into something very yucky.

A better idea, would be my original idea (the house facing Washington and the open space behind on the Mt. Ave side), with the current QC being torn down (since there will be a Wawa right down the road) and use part of that property to widen the end of Bells, so there are two lanes going out - one for ppl turning left and one for right. They can make it look nice by widening the road and putting nice curbs on both sides. The few feet the town would need would not make the QC property unusable, just a few feet narrower - so something else could be built there that would cause less traffic than a convenience store. It could be a really nice entry into the residential neighborhoods off of Mt. Ave.

Just my last bit of 2 cents.

Heidi Heidi
Apr '17

I agree with Greg 200%.

This is a sensitive area; the adjoining intersection is a complex and this will add to that complexity.

It's a residential with intrude into a residential area ruining the values for those lucky citizens.

It's near the school(s) providing an "attractive nuisance" for those environments.

Hate to say it, but really do we need another gas/grub/go over what is available or in the works like WaWa. Sounds like WaWa completely obviates the need, much less the need to put one close to town center. Heck, we have gas stations going out of business.

So I would say all H-town citizens should be concerned and should question whether the convenience of another fuel n food joint is worth the collateral damage. I would also question "whats in it for you," as in ---- for example, personally, as a starting point, if this development did not completely clear any traffic issues with that intersection, I would vote NO. What else are they willing to put up before you destroy that residential neighborhood to make it better for all Hackettstown?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '17

Does anyone know the status of the WaWa?

animal lover animal lover
Apr '17

The WaWa's application will be formally submitted at the May Planning Board meeting

Jim L Jim L
Apr '17

WhereWhere is the WaWa?

ianimal ianimal
Apr '17

Ian- Opposite the big hole in the ground that was Burger King on Mountain Ave.


ianimal, next to applebeas....i think there is also housing and open space in the wawa plans if I am not mistaken

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

I sure hope they get WaWa to fund their part of the 46/57 cut-through and pass that at the same time. That could relieve a lot of traffic.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '17

Heidi/Greg - really good ideas about what the space should be.

The current owner doesn't care about any of the residents or even the impact to the town since he lives in Chester. The town should care - this is not in the overall best interest of the town residents; convenient for a few but overall this will impact traffic for everyone and will impact homeowners on every parallel street since people will try to avoid the Mt. Ave back-up even more than usual. Also very slippery slope to keep converting residential to commercial.


so true Bonv, if WAWA goes in they will be cutting through Kenwood " Shelley Drive, Lawrence it would be no different if they moved the QC, we gave enough gas stations and convince stores. This needs to stop, Mt. Ave is all ready a night mare why add to it


It is a commercial corridor, and Hackettstown needs the tax revenue. Of course immediate neighbors will be affected.


I would say it's more of a nuisance to homeowners than traffic. It would just replace all the traffic from people going to the current Quik Check over there.

Metsman Metsman
Apr '17

+ more metsman as it will be a quick check and a gas station

We have all seen how these gas stations can backup before a storm, holiday weekend, or other events

We have seen gas stations backup far onto the road after Sandy, what will happen if there is a backup onto mountain avenue?

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

"and Hackettstown needs the tax revenue."

iJay, please explain what the positive tax implications of this project will be for us.

Scottso Scottso
Apr '17

Uh you're worried about a hurricane causing gas traffic? LOL... There's 3 other gas stations on the road.

Metsman Metsman
Apr '17

Not to mention Dunkin Donuts causes back ups into Mt. Ave on weekends since they put in their drive thru. The existing road was never meant to handle as much traffic as it does, and a new Quik Check with gas station will only make matters worse, plus ruin home values immediately around it.

As an aside, does anyone know if there are actual plans to try and build a rt46-rt57 bypass? I've "heard" it for years but would love to see it actually happen.

Eperot Eperot
Apr '17

@Eperot, at one time there was a plan to build that bypass. I was approved by the state and that is as far as it got. With the building of Peachtree and some other homes in the area I think those plans have been removed from the books and is no longer an option!!!.

Dadof3
Apr '17

The only way the bypass would be feasible now looking at it aerially would be to build an extension of the Applebee's driveway across the Musconetcong and eventually hook up with Hearthstone Drive east of Peachtree Village.

Even if NJDOT was able to clear all of the environmental hurdles of wetlands and flood hazard area disturbances associated with that stream crossing, the land between the river and Hearthstone Drive is all within the Highlands Preservation area, so it's never going to happen until if or when the Highlands Act gets repealed... I wouldn't hold your breath.

ianimal ianimal
Apr '17

Why do we even *need* another gas station??? Main Street, Mountain Ave, and 57 are already covered in them, all within less than a mile of each other.

If they're going to build anything at least make it something we could actually use.

Michelle Michelle
Apr '17

For anyone interested in signing the petition opposing Quick Chek going on Mountain Avenue Bells Lane and Washington Street I had to move away from Hot Bagels abroad I'm now at Alumni field so if you want to come sign the petition you're more than welcome to meet me here thank you and have a beautiful day

Debbie Debbie
Apr '17

Debbie, missed you today. When will you be back at alumni?

Washington St reside Washington St reside
Apr '17

they have been talking about that by pass for the past twenty years, it's never going to happen. Mt. Ave is crazy come 3;00 PM but they keep building


No one mentions that the businesses on Mountain Avenue were opposed to the bypass at the time. Does anyone think they would be in favor of one now? In any case, it's not going to happen.

OnTheEdge OnTheEdge
Apr '17

Oh I know a bypass is a long time dream but isn't a lot of it in Morris County? They can move mountains.....and maybe Mountain Avenue over there unlike us hill folk. You would think Washington would like it, Morris would like it, we would like it.....who's not to like?

Wonder what the businesses were thinking? Like I wouldn't hit Micky D's cuz I could save 20 minutes? I could see where Walmart might not want to make Target more accessible. Cry me a Musconetcong.

Sure it would be tough, tough as straightening out Schooley's Mountain overpass. But I don't think it's preserved Iman ---at least according to the map seems to be in H-town planning area.

Remember, infrastructure is king ---- Make Hackettstown Great Again. We need some border highway walls as only NJ knows how to build em ---- expensive!

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '17

One of the residents told me that the plan has been revised to see if it will go through with the revisions. Also, that the state has to approve the entrance on mountain ave since tractor trailers are going to be using it to deliver fuel and goods. Can't imagine how a tractor trailer is going to pull in from mountain ave without causing a major issue or for that matter from Bells Lane.

animal lover animal lover
Apr '17

Hey, at least they are being honest and saying they will use tractor trailers....unlike CVS who said they never used them, then just started using them on a lot never designed for that use, and are now trying to change the plans to allow TT after being cited with a zoning violation.......

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

I feel for you Darrin...There will be gas tankers and deliveries by tractor trailers. CVS has always used tractor trailers for their deliveries and the drivers are not very skilled. (usually 3rd party drivers).

animal lover animal lover
Apr '17

Is there a way to sign this petition ?! This is crazy

Stephanie
Apr '17

I believe the school board needs to approve this at some level as the school is very close to this project. Emails to the entire board are in order.


The school doesn't need to approve this. They were given notice since their property is within 200ft just like all the other neighbors did. They are welcome to come as a neighbor and give their opinion but they have no power of approving/disapproving this project

Jim L Jim L
Apr '17

I would like to sign petition also - where can I sign up!

cloudyday cloudyday
Apr '17

While a petition is good, people showing up at the meeting to voice their personal concerns is even better

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

CVS has to let TT on property. That's how they get deliveries. No?

Botheredbyuu2 Botheredbyuu2
Apr '17

I am a little confused I heard that the Quick check/gas station was going to be at the old Burger King location. If not does anyone know what is?

Adrienne R Rotondo Adrienne R Rotondo
Apr '17

A new medical facility will be there.


BBU...CVS stated during the planing stages all their deliveries were done by smaller truck, thus their entire site including ingress, egress, loading area, and East Stiger, was designed and built for such.....then they just started using tractor trailers......now they are trying to make as little changes as possible to jam a TT on site. They seem to not have a regard for safety in my opinion.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

My general point, is, as a resident, even though you are promised one thing during the planning stages, does not mean that it cannot be changed down the road.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

Pretty much a guarantee with any real estate venture.


Listen folks....

This Quick Chek project would be an absolute DISASTER.

Bells Lane and Water St are already out of kilter as to how they line up with Mountain Ave. Traffic is already acerbated due to the light at 5 corners.

Property values of homeowners on Washington Street will plummet. Washington St was once a quiet, stately avenue that is now used as a traffic detour... where cars regularly race past our middle school as they overload the side street in an attempt to cross town.

Is Paftinos/Quik Chek ready to pay reparations to the home owners on Washington St? Not a chance. Paftinos pays $3.5 mill and hopes to get $4 mill in return, turn his back, and walk away. A practice he was taught by his father.

Does anyone in this town have any type of long term creative vision? Seems as though most are only concerned with how it affects them personally.

The PERFECT project for that area would be the following. That entire block could be raised. Approximately 15 homes that a slum lord(s) has allowed to fall into disrepair. A tactic that allows them to use the "eyesore" angle for demolition. BUT those 15 homes could be replaced by about 40 attractive row houses (not apt. style brick block houses) where each side could be serviced by a lane that would run between both sides. (Little St to Bells Lane) The row houses could be 3 stories, with unique stylish exteriors. The classic row house is approximately 20' wide. Even the other side of Mountain Ave could do the same. About 6-7 present slumlord eyesores could be raised and replace by complimentary row houses (about 25). Perhaps a portion of the current open lot could be used as a landscaped park for the local homeowners. Gee how different. This approach may actually INCREASE the property values of local homeowners. Yet another unique concept for this mismanaged town.

All could have deep back yards... off street parking... off street rear access.

The Quick Chek project will simply add to snarled traffic and decrease real estate values. It cannot be allowed under any circumstances.

fire251 fire251
Apr '17

fire251 - Your "row house" idea sounds great, with many benefits for Hackettstown. Question to all who have experience dealing with the town: What are the steps to transform this from a workable idea into a funded, working project?

DannyC DannyC
Apr '17

fire251 - go up and read my comment a few weeks ago....

We seem to have the same sort of idea...

Heidi Heidi
Apr '17

Look where the mayor works......
Look at who funds their projects. ....

Dadof3
Apr '17

Where?

Heidi Heidi
Apr '17

fire251 - Specific steps for your terrific "row house" idea to become a reality:

1 - Stop the Quick Check project by whatever legal means possible.
2 - Find an architect/engineering firm willing to draw up detailed plans pro bono, since there is much talent in this area which is also concerned about the town.
3 - Solicit builders who may be interested in funding and implementing the project.
4 - Make a formal proposal to the town, using plans and funding documents. Fair consideration for displaced current renters should also be in the proposal.

Please tell me what I am missing, or if I am totally off base.

DannyC DannyC
Apr '17

Uh, doesn't someone OWN the property for which these "row houses" are envisioned upon? The same person who's selling it to Quick Check for a quick buck. How do you propose to get the property away from him?

Tracy Tracy
Apr '17

Have they bought the property yet? With any luck, maybe someone with a better idea will come along and make an offer on the property that's higher that QC is offering. The owners probably don't care if Satan himself buys the property, as long as he makes a good profit. From what I gather (could be wrong???) QC doesn't own the property yet, so it's still for sale.

Maybe all the homeowners in that vicinity can pool money to purchase it and put what they want there. If each homeowner puts in 4 or 5 thousand that could be a good down payment. They can put something on the property that would be an asset to the community and then later on, sell the property.

4 or 5K is a small amount, compared to the $50,000 or more that their home values will be dropping if this thing goes through. They need to protect their investment in their homes!

Heidi Heidi
Apr '17

Heidi,

From what I remember, when I looked at the plans at the construction office, the developer already owns the property and the majority, if not all, of the houses they need to tear down to do this project.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

Darrin - So it boils down to a negation with "the developer who already owns the property", and convince them that the "row house" idea is better than the Quick Check idea? Does the town have any say in this?

DannyC DannyC
Apr '17

Hey DannyC,

I'm going to need you to dig up your garden and yard because I think a basketball court would benefit the neighborhood more than your vegetables.

Seenit
Apr '17

Something tells me a developer would not buy property and a bunch of existing houses if they did not "think" they would be able to complete their anticipated project.....it's not something one does on a whim.....there must be more to this, at least that's my opinion.

And to the form of the town having say, it's all about safety and feasibility...the residents need to present that. Overall, the town cannot "tell" someone what they cannot do, unless there is justifiable reasons.

With the row houses idea, the strong point that could be presented is that the zoning is already residential and it would fit in with the surrounding residential.

Remember, for any of this to happen, first they have to get the zoning changed to fit their needs. So justifiable reasons need to be presented as to why the zoning should or should not be changed.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

Darrin - Back to the rezoning issue...Ha! Let's see what we can negotiate with a residential developer who has no such obstacles and can do a good job.

Seenit - Make your own basketball court. My garden is staying.

DannyC DannyC
Apr '17

Darrin - the zoning is the crux of the issue for Washington St. We need as many residents as possible to show up at the May meeting. Without rezoning on Washington I don't think QC can build their mega-store/gas station.


Mountain Avenue between Rt 57 and Rt 46 ( the crazy intersection) is also State Highway 182 (maintained by NJDOT). Wouldn't NJDOT be also reviewing the QuickChek application for impacts on this state road?

OnTheEdge OnTheEdge
Apr '17

OnTheEdge

It's also technically Rt. 517. 517 is also Schooley's Mt. Rd. and runs along as Mountain Ave./182, then at the 5 Points is 517N/46W until it makes the right to continue on North along/as High Street/517N. Of course the way the roads join each other, split up and join and or rejoin others around here is almost a nightmare, especially since you can technically use more than one title to address a particular road area in many cases.

Phil D. Phil D.
Apr '17

Someone mentioned homeowners w/in certain feet of QC project were notified. What streets does that encompass? I haven't gotten any notice....

ss2cats ss2cats
Apr '17

200ft from property line get notifications

Jim L Jim L
Apr '17

The plans at the construction office show the 200ft radius notifications, along with a list of residents in the 200 ft radius

Darrin Darrin
Apr '17

Re: Quickchek Mountain Ave Project

I had posted this photo above. This shows the 200 feet radius.


NJDOT is going to rake this application over the coals, if they even get the use variance/re-zoning that they are looking for from the Town.

ianimal ianimal
Apr '17

Wow... so they want to take down 5 houses!

Metsman Metsman
Apr '17

"Does anyone in this town have any type of long term creative vision? "

I've been saying this for ages. Glad others question it as well.

This may be an odd question, but who can enlighten me as to who the Paftinos are? The same family who built practically every brick apartment complex around town? Because l was always told that was "Leo" of Leo's Lunch and his wife was the one who worked at Leo's Lunch up until the transition of store ownership maybe 5 or 6 years ago. Am l totally wrong?

Eperot Eperot
Apr '17

Somebody just told me that Quickchek won't be at the May meeting. Does anyone know for sure? Also is WaWa going to make their proposal at the May meeting?

animal lover animal lover
May '17

The WaWa proposal will be presented and heard at the Planning Board meeting. They meet on the 4th Tuesday of the month.

The attorney for the Quick Chek application has requested that their application be carried to the next meeting of the Zoning Board which will be held on Tuesday June 13,2017.

Michele Morpeth Michele Morpeth
May '17

Varos, LLC (which I'm assuming is the Paftinos) paid Sandhu $825,000 for Lot 8 and about $1M in total to other sellers for three other properties (Lots 10, 10.1 and 11). Sandhu still owns Lots 9 and 12. Is he (S&S Real Estate) listed as a property owner on the application documents?

ianimal ianimal
May '17

Where are those lots? Are those the houses along Mountain Ave? Are ypu talking about Dr. Sandhu??? He's the slumlord, lol!?!?

Heidi Heidi
May '17

Michele,

How long can they carry the meeting before they have to re-notice the 200ft residents?

Darrin Darrin
May '17

Block 122 owners

https://www13.state.nj.us/pls/nj_public/f?p=647:9:0::NO:RP:P9_COUNTY,P9_DISTRICT,P9_BLOCK_NUMBER,P9_LOT_NUMBER,P9_QUALIFIER,P9_PROPERTY_CLASS,P9_PROPERTY_LOCATION,P9_OWNER_NAME:21%2C08%2C122%2C%2C%2C%25%2C%2C


From this search page:

https://www13.state.nj.us/pls/nj_public/f?p=647:5:0::NO:RP::

justintime justintime
May '17

Just to correct Michelle about this month's planning board meeting. This month it got move the the 5th Tuesday which is May 30th. Also planning board meetings starting in May have a new time...7pm

Technically WaWa is not the applicant for the mountain Ave project. But the applicant is putting in a gas station which most likely will be a WaWa. So not sure if WaWa will have representation there but we will aleast see what the site plan will look like.

Jim L Jim L
May '17

justintime, Varos bought those properties from Sandu after the link you referenced. Varos owns all 5 properties slated for the project and the empty lot.

animal lover animal lover
May '17

With the approval of the WaWa just down the street on Mountain Ave as well as all of the other aforementioned factors pointing to this monstrosity as a bad idea for the residents, motorists, and town, I sure hope the people who are charged with making decisions use good judgement.

#NoQuickChekonMtAve


The project will be approved. In Hackettstown, if you have the financial capitol to wear down the zoning board and line the pockets of the professionals that represent the town though their billing proceedures, your project will eventually be approved. If not approved by the town, which is highly unlikely, you have an option to have the denial of your project heard at the county level in Belvidere. Those judges just interpret the existing law. They have no emotional attachment to Hackettstown. Again, the project will be approved.

Hobbs Hobbs
Jun '17

I'm not certain any of the people charged with making decisions in this town ever use good judgement...just the kind that lines their pockets.

eperot eperot
Jun '17

really eperot please let me know how our pockets are getting lined. All members of the zoning and planning board are unpaid volunteers and it's funny every time a positions opens up we have the hardest time finding someone to fill it.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '17

Where is WaWa going?

Chrissy Chrissy
Jun '17

^ WaWa is going next to Applebees.

I'd think the zoning board may look at the concentration of gas stations in the area and decide if another one is really needed. Or at least I would hope that factors into their decision making.

D-ManPV D-ManPV
Jun '17

WaWa there make sense. Well, makes sense if we really need to add another convenience/gas station to the growing list in town. The Quick Chek proposal is in the worst possible location as we all know. That corner is already a mess and just thinking about kids walking by that location after school, along with cars tying to make a left out of there. I'm surprised that it wasn't shut down after the first meeting. Is there a town petition going around to stop the Quick Chek location? I see all the signs but feel that more representation from the town needs to be heard. Sorry if this was already brought up.

Chrissy Chrissy
Jun '17

"I'm surprised that it wasn't shut down after the first meeting"

Technically there has yet to be a First Meeting. The application was deemed incomplete at the January zoning board meeting and the applicant has cancelled every meeting since as they have not gotten the proper information to submit a completed application. We will see if they are ready for the 6/20 meeting. If so that will be the first meeting to hear the application.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '17

Thanks Jim. This thread is very large and I didn't check all the posts! From a planning board perspective, is there anything we as residents can do so that when/if the applicants actually show to a meeting, they can see the disapproval from the town firsthand? Do petitions really work in these circumstances?

Chrissy Chrissy
Jun '17

Right now they are before the zoning board as they are asking for the 2 homes in Washington that are in a residential zone to be refined for commercial. If they show up then the public can ask the applicant questions regarding their testimony. Once the testimony is complete then the public can give their opinions to the board directly

If they get approval from the zoning board then the plans go before the planning board

Jim L Jim L
Jun '17

Ah, the old bifurcated application. I guess they're asking for use variances and not re-zoning?

ianimal ianimal
Jun '17

That Mountain Ave is going to be pretty built up.


Good hashtag Greg! I guess we'll know by Monday if they're cancelling again. If not, I hope that there are a lot of residents that show up to voice their concerns.


Where can I get a sign for my lawn? Tx

Realist Realist
Jun '17

The lady who has the signs has extras and is planning on bringing them to the meeting on Tuesday.

HHS Fan HHS Fan
Jun '17

Will the Wawa be a gas one or just a store? It would be nice to have a late night gas option in town. I deliver pizzas often after 10 pm when most of the gas stations in town close. If I get a delivery to Long Valley but need to refill, my only option presently is to drive all the way to the Quick Chek on 517 and then double back. It would be nice to have an option en route to many of my late night deliveries.

Pizza Guy
Jun '17

Wawa good. Quickchek, in that location, bery bery bad.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jun '17

Check the posts above - all the Wawa questions were previously answered.


Isn't Washington Street all the way to Bells lane in the HISTORICAL area of Hackettstown? Rezoning should not be allowed for this project due to that alone. I was told 13 years ago when I wanted/needed to have major work done to my house that I had to go before the Historical Society for approval, as Washington Street to Bells lane was considered in the town's historical area so any changes needed to be approved through them. This should be bought up also at the meeting Tuesday.

This project will cause major traffic issues on Mountain Ave, Washington and Bells Lane. These intersections are already harrowing to get through, and put a busy store with gas pumps there it will triple the problem. Will there be a light on Mountain Ave there? Whose taxes are going to pay for the extra police that will be needed to constantly have to respond to the incidents in the area? I'm sure not the owner of this property, but every homeowner in Hackettstown. Our Police dept. does a great job and will need extra patrols as this will also become a hang out. Drive by Washington's stores at night and take notice. The area they want to put this in is FAMILY oriented. Bet you wouldn't want the Large lights & traffic over looking your home. The existing Quick Chek small store on the other side of the road fits the area. PLEASE COME OUT ON TUESDAY and show the town we DON'T want this.


No one on this forum has a reason not to be there at the meeting. It's not somebody else's job, it's not the boards job, it the people's job to make their thoughts known in public and on the record. Trust me, if the turnout is tepid they will be more inclined to grant the changes requested because no one seemed to care.

Sometimes the board needs YOUR support to stand up to developers. Be their backbone.

See you ALL there.

Longtime Townie
Jun '17

When is the next meeting i missed the last one do to a nasty fall

Debbie Debbie
Jun '17

Eh the old Mountain Ave. location would be fine if they didn't have a tiny parking lot set up how they do. between cars backing up into each other, pedestrians who have to walk right in the path of vehicles and entrances AND exits on both ends, it's an accident or pedestrian hit waiting to happen. You can't see all angles backing out of the place and you take a gamble everytime you back out of a spot. Not only that but you used to have to enter from Bells Lane, exit out the other way on to Mountain Ave and couldn't turn left on to Mountain Ave. now it's all wide open and it causes backups when you can't pull out due to passing traffic. It's as bad as places that keep designing shopping centers with the main driveway between the parking lot and store fronts. A dedicated fire lane, sure, but general traffic should travel through *behind* the parking lot

paulfeig paulfeig
Jun '17

I think they may be scheduled for tomorrow's meeting but I'll call the Town in the morning to confirm.


Bonv, let us know what you find out...trying to come.

animal lover animal lover
Jun '17

The Quickchek is listed on the agenda as completeness only. This means that the application will be reviewed to ensure all necessary documents and checklist items are available so that the application can be deemed complete . The case itself will not be heard tonight.

Michele Morpeth Michele Morpeth
Jun '17

They are on the schedule for tonight's meeting for "Completeness Only" Which means they are coming to see if their application is deemed complete by the board. If it is deemed complete then they will begin their presentation at next month's meeting.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '17

Thank you Michele & Jim!


Next meeting is July 18th open to the public

Debbie Debbie
Jun '17

Does this mean they had completeness?

Walking Girl Walking Girl
Jun '17

would love to help out if i can in the opposition of this. saw this link online as well http://www.thepetitionsite.com/local/US/NJ/Hackettstown/

i dont live on Washington Ave but did not move to town to see all the great gas stations around. I moved here for the historic sites and the great small town feel.

the question should be what does Hackettstown want to be known for moving forward? What should we feel proud of and how can we protect that.

i could be too late, but want to be offer any help possible.

jaydagreatone jaydagreatone
Jun '17

I started the petition but haven't had a chance to proof read/edit it. I will work on it and publish by the weekend. Please share on your social media sites. Thanks!

WashingtonStresident WashingtonStresident
Jun '17

If anyone's interested in signs let me know.


Ok once final let me know and ill post thanks!

jaydagreatone jaydagreatone
Jun '17

Was their application deemed complete and if so, what is the procedure from here going forward?

animal lover animal lover
Jun '17

sorry I can't answer if it was deemed complete since I was not at the meeting but if it was then the procedure going forward would be:

They will present their application at the next meeting. Their attorney will call up expert witnesses 1 at a time to give testimony and go over the plan. The board can and will ask questions during the testimony. After each expert is done with their testimony, they will open it up to the public to ASK QUESTIONS to the expert. It is not the time to state your opinions of the plan in general just to ask questions. Once that expert is done, the process repeats itself until all testimony is given. At that point the public is given time to give their testimony/statements about the plans, site in general, ect. Once the public has their time to speak the board votes.

my guess with a site this big and a lot of moving parts it'll be a few meetings process. So if you are going to attend the next meetings, prepare some questions, take notes during the testimony that you might want to ask questions about. But don't get discouraged if you are unable to give your opinion or make a statement about the site in general at next month's meeting, you will have time to do that but proper procedures must be followed for every applicant.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '17

Thank you Jim

animal lover animal lover
Jun '17

A few articles on similar situations from other parts of the country...could be some good points in here to use for these future meetings to raise questions or to make as references for those that will plan to attend meetings.

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2014/11/tale_of_2_gas_stations_on_fult.html

http://liherald.com/stories/Opposition-to-Costco-gas-station-in-Lawrence-builds,41856?page=2&content_source=

http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2016/03/neighbors_concerned_about_high.html

http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/2017/03/08/residents-oppose-proposed-glen-ellyn-gas-station/axhjkz0/

jaydagreatone jaydagreatone
Jun '17

Jim L. is making a good point and a great hint. If you know the witnesses, chances are you can guess or even find out what they are giving evidence about and, armed with that, chances are you can find some doozy questions to keep things interesting.

It's always good to ask the experts....how often they represent developers in general in a year and this developer specifically as well as questions germane to the topics they are experting on ---- no doubt run-off, traffic, etc.

NO WAIVERS.....and you'll be fine.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jun '17

Can someone start a Facebook page for this to send reminders to all interested about the zoning, planning meetings, etc relating to this important topic. We can then share with others in town. I've seen the signs around town, but forget when the meetings come up. I would like to go, but need a reminder in my face. I don't check Hackettstown life.com often.

Heidi I.
Jun '17

The next zoning board meeting is Tuesday July 18th at 7:30 in the municipal building.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '17

Meeting times and dates as well as updates and the agendas are published on the town web site - hackettstown.net

Just share that.


Heidi, on the same town website is the schedule for meetings. My recommendation is to grab those schedules and put them on your calendar/phone/planner...whatever you use to remember upcoming events. Then when you see it upcoming, go to the town website to see what is on the agenda.

Darrin Darrin
Jun '17

Why not a wawa its alot better


FYI, it was brought up last night at the Planning board meeting that they will not be reviewing the quick check application. If the zoning board approves this application, it will be built as such, so the next zoning meeting will be VERY important for everyone to be at!

Darrin Darrin
Jun '17

Wow, good to know.


The zoning board will review the 3 variance waivers the applicant is requesting along with the overall site plan. I thought they were just handling the variances and if they voted yes on them then the site plan would go before the planning board but was told last night that zoning is handling everything.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '17

Better work fast. They're slamming the boards.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jun '17

Curious if that's standard procedure ?


Ok here is my rant for this morning: i am walking to quick chek and have the right away no cars coming, then all of a sudden as i am crossing bells lane a landscaping truck turns from mountain ave. onto bells lane and just misses hitting me by an inch! I am wearing a bright pink shirt like you can't see me crossing the road and they want to put a bigger quick chek with a gas station on the corner! That intersection is so dangerous there and we don't need to make it any worse than what it is now! People need to pay attention! Not only did he just miss hitting me he actually came into the other lane more than halfway had another car been coming he would of hit them head on ! This is what my other sent me

Debbie Debbie
Jul '17

People - you need to get vocal directly to our town administration, not just here on HL --- sent a letter addressed to the Planning board detailing all of my objections -we also need to be sure to attend public meetings - get the information and get engaged....

trekster3- trekster3-
Jul '17

Zoning Board Meeting is July 18th at 7 pm
Planning Board Meeting is July 25th at 7 pm

trekster3- trekster3-
Jul '17

Thank you trekster. Based on the above though it sounds like the Zoning Board Meeting will be the one that determines whether this can go forward & absolutely critical for everyone to attend on July 18.

One of the asks is a variance from residential to commercial on Washington St (where they'll be tearing down 2 existing homes).


It has been mentioned that this project will ONLY be put through the zoning board, if it is approved by the zoning board, it WILL be built as such

The planning board will have nothing to do with this one!

Darrin Darrin
Jul '17

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment will be held on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 7:30PM at the Municipal Building, 215 Stiger Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

AGENDA

1. Call to Order

2. Sunshine Act

3. Roll Call

4. Pledge of Allegiance

5. Approval of minutes – June 20, 2017

6. Resolutions – Case #Z17-03, Stuart J. White
Case #Z17-04, David Wagner
Case #Z17-05, Donald D. Dienst

7. Case #Z16-05, Quick Chek Corp.
Block 122, Lots 8-12 & 10.01

8. Old/New Business

9. Adjournment

FORMAL ACTION MAY OR MAY NOT BE TAKEN

Darrin Darrin
Jul '17

This may not be important to this thread, but I just heard CITGO was just bought out by 7-11 for a convenience store and gas station to be built there. At least according to the gas attendant.

animal lover animal lover
Jul '17

And here's the copy of the letter I sent --- I do notice a couple of errors, one being that there is a residential home next to the gas station at 46/mtn ave. And as noted above, if zoning is making the decision at least they got a copy of the letter.....

--------
Dear Planning Board Members,

As a long-time resident of Hackettstown, I respectfully ask you to reject the proposed Quick Check at the Washington St / Bells Lane / Mountain Avenue Location.

I appreciate the need to have vital businesses in town to spur on economic growth, but this proposal does far more harm than good at that location.

Out of respect for our mutual friends and neighbors, suggest another location for the business, which should have no problem re-locating either within Hackettstown city limits or in neighboring Washington Township (Morris County).

Please note my following objections:

Environmental - Seepage of gasoline, either as a result of tank failures or delivery spills contaminating adjacent ground.

Traffic - The current intersection is already chaotic, at best.

Need - There is no need to have a gas station at that location with the 3 current open and operating gas stations and the proposed Wawa gas station within less than a quarter mile of this project

Displacement of families - the four houses to be torn down are homes to several families. With little options for those families to remain in Hackettstown..

Property values / saleability - The homes on Bells Lane and Washington Street already suffer from home value considerations due to increased traffic. The proposal will make those homes virtually unsellable

Quality of Life - There are several quality of life issues that would impact the current homes directly adjacent to the property.
Noise - The noise of not only customers, but also gas deliveries that often occur at odd times during the day or evening.
Deliveries - The larger retail store would require larger or more frequent vendor deliveries
Lights - Ambient light produced by the high lumen industrial lighting would be disruptive to the neighborhood
Fumes - The fumes produced by an operating gas station would seep into the nearby households. In addition the smell produced by larger garbage dumpsters needed
Vermin - The larger store and garbage receptacles are magnets for vermin of all kinds
Hours - Extended hours create unwelcome intrusion into families time at home in the neighborhood

Bear in mind we are talking about our neighbors, our friends, our town. The current configuration, even though it already has traffic issues currently acts as a good buffer between highly commercial Mountain Avenue and the College District.

If you take a step back and look at the existing gas stations in the area, none of them are directly adjacent to single family homes. None of Them! The same consideration needs to be applied to this proposal. There are ample vacant properties for Quick Check to locate their operation, most notably on Route 46 at the Target intersection. It would be convenient for area residents to use, there is already a traffic pattern that would be suitable for it, no impact to homes and still provide jobs for the area unemployed.

Please note, I am under no delusion that the space will be occupied by some commercial operation, but consideration for the existing neighborhood needs to be applied to make a sound decision for the future of our town. Small office building, multi-family housing, medical office or any number of businesses would be much more suited for the space.

Thank you for your service to Hackettstown,

CC:
Hackettstown Mayor, Maria DiGiovanni
Hackettstown Council
Hackettstown Zoning Board

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Jul '17

As I agree with trekster3 that we don't need (and it would be detrimental to the neighborhood) a large Quick Check/gas station there the line in the letter that none of the gas stations are adjacent to homes is false.

The old Hess (forget what it is now) is practically on top of the brown house behind it. The only thing separating the gas station from the house is a fence. I know the people who lived there and they said it was horrible in the summer when the gas smell would ooze into their house. What about the house to the right of the Shell station across from the old Hess? That also is right next to a gas station with only a fence separating it. These were residential areas too, years ago, before the gas stations were built.

How many gas stations do we need???

Heidi Heidi
Jul '17

How come nobody has sent this issue to the express-times so that more people attend the meeting?

Bug3
Jul '17

Yep Heidi - see my comment preceding the letter acknowledging the error in homes adjacent to the existing gas stations.

I just got an interesting call indicating that correspondence received is not distributed to the board members unless submitted at an open meeting - interesting policy, but no worries, I'll be at the meeting with requisite copies. And the reason being that the petitioner does not have the ability to respond to any issues in the correspondence.

While I agree, the petitioner should be able to respond to the comments, I find it curious that it would not be distributed to the board members, even as an FYI.

So, as of this moment, it is not considered correspondence. They actually asked if I wanted it back? Wouldn't it at least need to be on records as received by the office even if it is not actually 'official' correspondence. Learning new things every day about how our government works and how these things happen.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Jul '17

You can request a copy of it to go in the Board's file for the project, but it won't be included in the official case record nor can it be considered by the Board in their deliberation of whether or not to approve or deny the application unless submitted formally at the public hearing.

ianimal ianimal
Jul '17

Thankful I got the call to inform me and to suggest I bring plenty of copies for the meeting - at least I'm aware of it :)

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Jul '17

Reminder:

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment will be held on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 7:30PM at the Municipal Building, 215 Stiger Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Jul '17

Time to stop talking and start building. A mega Quick Chek gas station would be awesome on Mountain Avenue!

Also a homeless shelter and methadone clinic would enhance the ambiance of the neighborhood.

Not My Bama!
Jul '17

Don't let the planners pass gas.

Sign that petition, put a cork in it.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jul '17

I agree with Trekster but I believe some of your arguments will not hold true. There is a Quick Chek right on the corner already and it has lights, open 24 hrs, has traffic etc. How exactly does the college district be affected by this new Quick Chek? Explain in your letter.

So if it is voted down will the owner and Quick Chek take it to court? Who will pay for that? Are Hackettstown taxpayers ready for a bill like that?

infogirl infogirl
Jul '17

The Paftinos and Quick Check will have no standing for litigation if they get denied. They are requesting a use variance for a non-permitted use in a residential district. Without reciting chapter and verse from the Municipal Land Use Law and the NJSC Medici v. BPR decision, rest assured that this type of application has a very high standard for burden of proof that applicants are required to meet in order for the Board to even consider approving it. I doubt that they will be able to meet that burden unless the Board is overly agreeable to it and really wants it to happen, which I can't imagine is the case.

ianimal ianimal
Jul '17

Thanks for the insight ianimal!

infogirl infogirl
Jul '17

Think that's the point Iman. Until you know, best to assume yes, they are crazy.

I mean somehow the high density behind CVS got approved, with variences.

Ratables can fog the mind.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jul '17

Re: Quickchek Mountain Ave Project

This is what the applicant must prove:

Jim L Jim L
Jul '17

CVS was much different. The town changed the ordinance to make it "mixed use" which allowed residential and retail from the original "light manufacturing".

The town has not done that here (rezoned the site) thus why they are before the zoning board

Jim L Jim L
Jul '17

Does anyone know if homes in residential zone can be demolished?


bonv - With a simple permit, sure you can demolish homes. But you can't then just replace it with a commercial use. That's why they need to go before zoning to be allowed.


I couldn't stay at the meeting, way too hot, after a while i was finding it hard to breath..... the room was very obviously over capacity, surprised they didn't cancel it like the lawyer said they would if the capacity was exceeded. I counted 80 people in a 65 person rated room, and there were many more in the hallway since there was not enough room.

The bad part about canceling a meeting is it gets pushed off, but the good part is a location better suited for the amount of people would be chosen where maybe everyone could actually be in the room and hear what was going on.

Darrin Darrin
Jul '17

Interesting meeting - since I know some of the board members are following this thread, I hope they bear these things in mind. Historic value was not even on my radar until tonight, my concerns were for the displaced families as well as the property values of the remaining homes, but now I feel compelled to contribute on the historic considerations.

After being regaled with the supreme qualifications of the historic expert, critique of our historic ordinance as well as his detailed assessment of the 5 homes in question, here's my take.

1) In the absence of detail in our historic commission regarding demolition, it would behoove the zoning board to revert to the state for guidance, especially since there are so many buildings at stake, that distinctly changes the boundary of our historic district.

2) In the experts testimony he stated that in the current setting, the homes in question are adjacent to commercial and vacant properties which contributed to their diminished historic value. He would not extrapolate that with those homes removed, the remaining homes would then experience diminished historic value. I wonder what he would say 'off the record' or if he wasn't paid to be there.

3) To one of the board members point, though the 5 homes do not reflect 19th century affluent homes, they do represent the people that lived in the neighborhood at the time and over the years. They do have historic value relevant to the history of Hackettstown and the makeup of the neighborhood. The history of our town in the carriage making industry should have some consideration, which I think the expert did not value at all.

4) Our current historic ordinance does dictate that any new structures with new materials comply with the current historic setting (ie. the replacement of Centenary's President House). I don't think the Quick Check would ever be able to comply with that condition.

Question of the night:
One gentleman asked to the expert, in his 30+ career in historic preservation, how many buildings has he recommended for demolition. His answer was 3, about 4 years ago. I found that interesting, that for decades he did not recommend demolition at all and now these 5 homes have no redeeming historic value.

Re: my correspondence above - I was not permitted to submit it since it was deemed "testimony." To say I was a little miffed after spending 3 hours there, is an understatement. After being told that I would need to attend, with copies for the board and read it at the meeting, I was not a happy camper.

Interestingly, there is no mechanism for correspondence of any kind to be read into the record in the normal board proceedings. I have never gone to any board meeting where correspondence is not a normal agenda item. In the case of my letter above, it should have been accepted when it was received and read at the next available meeting by the clerk/secretary. Even with the redesignation as 'testimony' it should have been allowed to be read into the record, with a standard response that it would be discussed at the next meeting. Understanding that discussion could not be held tonight since the entire meeting was devoted to the historic preservation testimony which board questions, public questions and rebuttals took until 10:30 pm.

So, we shall return next month to submit my 'testimony'....

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Jul '17

Hackettstown is becoming a one stop shopping center, meal and refill the tank location and it has all the traffic to go with that. It's the type of place people go to on the weekend or pass by on the highway and are thankful to live somewhere else.

Watson
Jul '17

Who remembers the Hindu project proposal in Independence? That was such a fight. It was never about race, as they argued. They were proposing a small city including schools, houses, a church and dormitories, all for their people. They were the ones who were segregating themselves. Our country roads could not handle the traffic which would be generated by this project. If I remember correctly, I think it was knocked down due to limited access to the property because of residential homes already in place. I'm not sure if they still own the property at this point, but it is now declared wet lands and can not be built on at all.

Sorry if I jumped to another issue on this thread, but I just wanted to point out that the town coming together CAN make things happen.

Parental Unit Parental Unit
Jul '17

trekster, while the applicant is presenting their application, objectors are allowed only to ask questions of their professionals. The time for submitting testimony comes after they've finished. I doubt if you'll get to that point even next month. This sounds like it will take at least half a dozen meetings to complete, if I had to guess.

ianimal ianimal
Jul '17

So - what was the result of the meeting for those of us who couldn't be there? Was it continued to August?

Barnacle Bill
Jul '17

Folks, for those of you on facebook, there's a group which was started there last night to keep everyone informed also. I also posted the link to this thread on the facebook page.

I wouldn't have even gone last night if some smart person hadn't put out flyers on my street. I didn't know anything about the hearing. I'm betting a lot of other people don't know either. Here's a link to the facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/144264362819283/

Or just search "no quick check in hackettstown." thanks

Lisa M
Jul '17

Thanks Parental Unit for your support!

ianimal, I'm learning all sorts of things - it's an interesting process. And that's what I really didn't understand - that my letter to the board is considered testimony, not correspondence. According to one of the lawyers (I think his name was Roger? guess I have to pay better attention), the only testimony that will be heard can only be from the author. So, even if I go into a meeting on behalf of Aunt Bertha, who is homebound and cannot make it to a meeting, they never hear what she has to say? Again, I'm glad for the call I got from Patti to let me know, but that doesn't seem quite right.

Personally, I'm all for Quick Check gas stations, I go to them all the time and the corporation does do some great things, I just think this location does more harm than good. And it's not nimby per se, even down 1 block say where the Al's Dry cleaners is would be a great spot or even where the Salvation Army store would be better. And I know with the empty lot as commercial property will be developed in some way but now that I'm a much more informed citizen, we learned that historic can have a say about what is built there if it's incongruous with the neighboring homes.

So, for all of my consistency with voting and thinking I was all educated, I'm much more that active citizen. Power to the People!

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Jul '17

I'm sorry trekster3 but you are wrong. What you wrote was not a "correspondence" it was testimony. you are confusing what you wrote to something you hear at BOE meetings where they read correspondence at the beginning of their meetings. Those letters are not about agenda items they are more like " I want to thank the board..." or "there is an event coming up that I want to let you know about.." They are not opinions about agenda items. If they are then they are read at the "public discuss of agenda items" portion of the meeting

Your letter was direct opinion on why the board should vote a certain way. Which will be read at the proper time which is when everyone in the public has a chance to give your testimony. The fact that you took the time to write a letter does not change the fact of when that letter is to be read. So whether you hand out your letter or not, you still have to get up and read it at the proper time so that it can go on the record and the applicant has the opportunity to respond to it during their closing argument.

The board attorney was 100% correct

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

Well said trekster3!!

GeneP GeneP
Jul '17

Oh I understand that now Jim, that's for sure - it was just surprising to me.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Jul '17

So last night we heard what is the first hurdle the applicant must face and that is if the 5 houses that they want to be demolished are contributing factors to our historical district or are they just old building with no historical significance.

Their expert testified that the changes made to the houses over time has diminished their historical value and therefore can be demolished.

There are 7 factors used to determine if a house has historical significance vs just being "old"

1) Location
2) Setting
3) Feeling
4) Association - is the house tied to any historical figure
5) Materials
6) Design
7) Workmanship

their expert testified that the materials used in remodeling and the change in setting surrounding the houses have diminished the homes historical significance. The current state of disrepair the homes may or not be currently in have no basis and were not even brought up as contributing factors on why the homes are no longer historical

So that is the first hurdle, if the board votes they are not historical then QC can proceed to try and get a use variance for asking to put a commercial property in a residential (Washington st homes only) area. If the board votes yes they are historical then this applicant is dead as well as any future resident or commercial applicant that might want to come in that area because they too would not be able to demolish the homes.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

The Paftinos Family has yet to see a building they didn't want to demolish.

I will never forgive them or our Spineless Town Fathers for the Central House!

Barnacle Bill
Jul '17

I agree with that Barnacle Bill!

Walking Girl Walking Girl
Jul '17

trekster - your letter is still a letter as well as at the same time being testimony, send it and also go to the meetings and hand it out and stand up and read it out loud into the record.

the zoning board members have last names and live in h-town do they not?

send your letter to each of them at their homes by registered mail. make sure to list them all by first and last name on the cc list so they all know they all got it, send your letter to each individual member of the town council and the mayor by registered mail, so they all know they all got it, they have to accept it as a communication, cc the express times and WRNJ and 101.5 fm and the Star ledger and the Morris County Record. so they all know that they all got it.

unfrikkin' believable the hubris these pols display.

they are playing games with you to suppress your voice, that shows me that they are already leaning towards granting approvals for the variances.

don't let that happen,

and yeah, they should have planned for a bigger room seeing all the people that wanted to attend. the fact they they didn't, and that they didn't feel like they should accommodate the larger crowd sends a very clear message they they really don't want to hear from any of you, that they can disregard any input the general public may have to offer, they are playing games with the affected residents, that's another indication that their minds are already made up.

wow!

let me know how i can help you with this

BrotherDog BrotherDog
Jul '17

I thought if they are deemed historical they would have to go to the Historical Commission to see if they can demolish said property?

If they do deem them historical what are the chances they let them fall in more disrepair as other properties have been done. I personally think they are not historical. I think the proposed site is horrible and very dangerous!

infogirl infogirl
Jul '17

Jim L., I understood things a little differently? I understood that even if the homes themselves weren't completely historical, they could still be valuable to the historic district because destroying them would impact the "setting" of the more historic homes which are nearby? Is that what others took away from the meeting also?

Lisa M
Jul '17

"they are playing games with you to suppress your voice, that shows me that they are already leaning towards granting approvals for the variances."

Not even close to being true. They are following the proper procedures for this applicant like they do for every other applicant. If anything they are going the extra mile in making sure to follow the proper procedures so the applicant can't come back and say they were treated differently. The fact that she took the time to write a letter vs come up to the mic and voice her opinion off the cuff doesn't change the fact that there is a proper procedure that needs to be followed and she will have the time to read, hand out her letter. No one is trying to suppress her voice.

As for a bigger room? there is hardly anyone from the public at zoning meetings so I'm sure they were caught off guard. They have a month to figure out if they should move the meeting to a bigger room now that they know the expected size of the audience.

I know its fun in this day and age to believe in conspiracy theories and the gov't is out to get the little guy, but try to remember these board member are unpaid volunteers who are long time residents of the town. They're not the bad guys. They're the ones who volunteered to be on the board when we have such a hard time filling the positions. I get some think they should have just thrown it out from the start but they have to take the time to follow proper procedures for every applicant. Not doing so could result in lawsuits from applicants who feel they were mistreated.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

I thought if they are deemed historical they would have to go to the Historical Commission to see if they can demolish said property?

infogirl, it was discussed at the meeting last night that the historical commission didn't feel they had the resources to be able to review all the information and testimony and asked the zoning board to handle that decision. That was what last night was all about. If the zoning after hearing all the witness and public testimony determines they are historical then they can't be demolished for this or I would assume any other applicant.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

Jim L., I understood things a little differently? I understood that even if the homes themselves weren't completely historical, they could still be valuable to the historic district because destroying them would impact the "setting" of the more historic homes which are nearby? Is that what others took away from the meeting also?

Lisa, the witness argument was that they were "noncontributing" homes to the historical district because the changes made over time. another argument he made was that the "setting" of these building has changed over time and therefore they were historical . One board member then threw it back at him that if these homes were to be demolished then wouldn't that in turn effect the "setting" of the adjacent homes. Which he really struggled to answer. It was a really good question Mr. Pennington asked.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

Mr. Pennington asked what was on a lot of our minds. (He really impressed me, actually.) The expert witness stated repeatedly that the tire store and medical buildings were a factor in his determination of these houses. Tearing them down puts neighboring houses in jeopardy. It's just a downward spiral. Ultimately, where does it end? We are letting greed eat away our town. Look where it's getting us. Maybe we can open another vape shop? Or check cashing place? Enough. We don't need yet another gas station. This does nothing to improve our town. It makes nothing safer and improves no one's quality of life. It does nothing to alleviate taxes or traffic. It enhances nothing. The only people profiting from this are the developer and the corporation.

Lisa M
Jul '17

Tried to find Historic District description, status, etc.

Here's the main document basically saying it exists, been looked at, not sure what else. http://www.nj.gov/dep/hpo/1identify/nrsr_lists.htm

Can not find Hackettstown Historic District (ID#2758) SHPO which is the latest 1997 report. Certainly is not nationally registered or state registered, but has an opinion written which must at least specify the area.

Here's the listing: http://www.nj.gov/dep/hpo/1identify/nrsr_lists/Warren.pdf

Can't find the actual 2758 SHPO report though much less how being SHPO really matters to much of anything.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '17

Properly said, Lisa M.

Just remember that Jim L. is a councilman of Hackettstown and he has to follow the towns idea.

We have to keep fighting this or it will be done right out from under our feet!.

Bernie Bernie
Jul '17

Jim L.

As per "4) Association - is the house tied to any historical figure". How historical must the person have been. I mean do they need to have been a former Mayor or perhaps Carriage Works owner, Civil War Veteran or someone "higher' up on the list of importance, or do they have to have been a major figure in the town? In other words, what level of historic association is needed before the property is considered "important enough" not to tear down and lose?

Also, re: workmanship. All the homes on that block date back 125 years or more from what I've seen. Unless they have been completely gutted and redone, there would have to be major elements of the original design, materials and workmanship remaining, such as pocket doors, moldings, original window frames (at least on the inside). Has anyone in town with the Historical Society done any kind of a survey of these properties with regard to these elements? Perhaps GC could chime in here in this respect. I don't know if Mr. Lemasters has been consulted, but perhaps he may have knowledge of any or all of the above.

I couldn't make the meeting, though I'd have liked to. Did they give out copies of Quick Chek's "evaluation report" on the historical significance, or as I'm sure they put it "lack" of same of these properties? Is there a way of obtaining this report to see if it can be rebuked or other evidence may be found that disagrees with "their" assessment?

Thanks!

Phil D. Phil D.
Jul '17

Phil, I think the first point is how is this thing registered historic and does than mean anything. Because it's not federal and I don't think it's state registered, if their is such a thing.

My point is if it isn't already historic, good luck making it so. I mean my house is a much better play and I don't think I could ever make it. Too many cha cha cha changes. Don't think you have the time or resources, much less the buildings to do it with.

I think. I hope I am wrong.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '17

Phil they went into some examples about association. Lincoln's log cabin vs the town's post master general's house I believe was the example used.

As for workmanship. Only the exterior is considered from what they testified so if vinyl siding went up it would hide the workmanship of the original exterior

You can find general more information here

https://www.nps.gov/nr/publications/bulletins/nrb16a/nrb16a_II.htm

Jim L Jim L
Jul '17

LisaM, I actually understood it the same way you did (i.e. they could still be valuable to the historic district because destroying them would impact the "setting" of the more historic homes which are nearby).

I was really impressed with the turnout and a few of the board members asked really good questions that at least implied they were thinking long term about Hackettstown. Demolishing almost half the block of 150+ year old homes in a historic district is a big decision and would pretty much end the historic district on Washington St.

If anyone is interested in signs for the lawns please let me know.


Jim L.

Apparently the association must fit a pretty high standard then - wow.

Apparently the Union Cemetery Bridge is listed with the DEP as being on the list of NJ and/or National lists of Historic places, as per :

http://www.nj.gov/dep/hpo/1identify/nrsr_lists/Warren.pdf

Putting the huge complex on the end of that block further removes the bridge from anything nearby (besides the cemetery itself) that's considered of Historic value.

Just because there's Vinyl siding on the outside it wouldn't necessarily change the overall appearance of the main architectural details. It would actually likely have preserved the clapboarding, etc. underneath from damage, so to me that's rather odd, but then again. this all is interpreted how they see fit. The land development code does mention review by a certain individual as to historical significance as far as whether it meets the criteria for definition as a historic site.

strangerdanger

Here's a link to part of the Highlands Act & Hackettstown maps:

http://www.highlands.state.nj.us/njhighlands/warren_county/hackettstown/town_of_hackettstown%20.pdf

Here's a link to a link with a pdf download of I believe 69 pages or so of info with figures and maps at the end of the various Highlands Act resources in the Hackettstown area:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjk7YLqrJbVAhUINT4KHW4UC-kQFghWMAk&url= http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hackettstown.net%2Fapp%2Fdownload%2F1536860%2Fhighlands-environmental-resource.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFDRG8_Wbu-E9i2Wp1Y60HGTVdWig

I can't actually find a direct link to it from the hackettstown.net site, though oddly under the land development code, a service station is defined as not only selling gas and other fluids needed by a vehicle, but states "and" provides repairs, which Quick Chek wouldn't do. If it did provide repairs then oddly they're outlawed from selling cigarettes, drinks, etc. without another usage variance, unless from an outside vending machine for the drinks, etc. Go figure. I guess Quick Chek goes under just "Retail Sales" under the definitions?

http://www.hackettstown.net/land-development-code/

If J.C. Welch Carriage Factory still existed on Washington, this would all be moot I would imagine. That's what existed on the 1874 Hackettstown map around where the rear of this "project" is supposed to be going on Washington.

Phil D. Phil D.
Jul '17

" It would actually likely have preserved the clapboarding, etc. underneath from damage, so to me that's rather odd, but then again. this"

Phil it's funny you mentioned that because a board member asked the same question and the witness testified that the vinyl siding actually damages the underneath wall so anything behind would be ruined. I have no clue if that is right I am just stating what he said

Jim L Jim L
Jul '17

SD these homes themselves are not registerered as historical but they are register as being in a historical district and that is what's up for debate.

Are these in the historical district "contributing" to the historical district or not.

So your home that might be just as old or even older somewhere else in town outside of or historical district could have an easier time getting demolished than these homes

Jim L Jim L
Jul '17

Jim L, are they required to get NJDEP SHPO authorization in addition to any historic determinations on the municipal level?

ianimal ianimal
Jul '17

I'm understanding is no ianimal because the homes themselves are not on the state register. They are only in a town "historical district" so the town has to determine the historical significance

At least that is my understanding from the guidelines at the beginning of the meeting

Jim L Jim L
Jul '17

Phil D - We you referring to me? I have no connection to the Hist Soc.


GC

Whoops, my mistake. Not sure how that slipped in there.

Phil D. Phil D.
Jul '17

Yes! We need a MEGA Quick Chek!

Close mountain avenue. Create an airstrip and open up a 24/7 Mega Quick Chek that sells aviation fuel.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Naturally, you hire illegals to keep the place clean. Hey! They can make up to $2.00 a day! What's not to like?

Not My Bama!
Jul '17

So, I got to thinkin' (no, I didn't hurt myself) - instead of being anti something, let's put some suggestions out there on what would be a good fit for that corner. Maybe the property owner will see benefit in that, let's take a positive spin.

1st thought: Another MicroBrew - add to the mix and bring some attention to the Mt. Ave. side - catchy name like 'Carriage House Brewery' how cool would that be?

What other businesses would be a good fit - let's see the options!

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Jul '17

how about a nice park

Brad2
Jul '17

Park, LOL...


There's enough space to build something nice without tearing down the houses and ruining the integrity of the historical district. Something with some outside seating and not open 24 hours.

Walking Girl Walking Girl
Jul '17

Well first things first, the fate of the 5 homes has to be determined first. If they are determined to be contributing homes to our historical district then they can't be demolished for this or any other applicant. So only the vacant lot came be built on.

If the are deemed not to be contributing but then they decide to not allow the rezoning, the the homes on Washington will remain residential and the homes on mountain can come down and something commercial can go there.

Or the final option is they deem them not historical and grant the rezoning. Then quick chek will go in

So no point suggesting what should be built until we learn the fate of the 5 homes

Jim L Jim L
Jul '17

The current owner is committed to the QC deal regardless of the impact to residents. Zoning variances will be the best argument - hard to believe that we're potentially talking about 5 gas stations in ~1 mile radius.


Let's be honest, nothing historical at that corner. The adjacent homes seem to be rentals in apparently poor shape. I would fight for a design modification that looks more "historical." I am sure the QC designers have or could accommodate a different visual design, for example a design that would be acceptable in Greenwich Conn.


What's even harder to believe is that one of the Zoning Board members, John Stout, has already made his mind up without even hearing any testimony! Not looking good for the residents of Washington St.......He says that the town needs ratables. Are not the homes that are already there ratables? Being he is already in favor of this, I imagine that his buddy, Roger Burd will be for it also. Sad time in H'town.......

Richie
Jul '17

Richie, John Stout actually said to you or in the meeting that he is for the QC deal? Did he say why, other than ratables?

animal lover animal lover
Jul '17

Jim L. - so true on all accounts - but if during the process the property owner can be perhaps given other options, it might be helpful. Unfortunately, I think their potential financial windfall will supercede any other prospects, unless the process gets too painful/long/expensive for them to continue.

The need for increasing the rateable on the property is absolutely relevant and the town is 100% correct in trying to increase that, but that goal can be achieved with something other than a gas station.

Just trying to give this discussion a positive spin and people in town food for thought - no matter what happens, the empty space will be filled with something, it will be developed, but wanted people to think outside the box (store) and come up with ideas that maybe the property owner, zoning, neighborhood and town can get behind and support.

trekster3~ trekster3~
Jul '17

animal lover......He said it to a friend who I will not reveal, which I realize makes it hearsay, but I'm sure when it comes time to vote, everyone will see that it is true.....From what he told her, it was just the ratable chase.

Richie
Jul '17

maybe a rehab center could go in there

BrotherDog BrotherDog
Jul '17

Still don't know exactly where the historic district is; Phil D has a lot of procedural links which might help the cause. Phil's stuff shows a map exists, can't find it.

But, for argument's sake, let's say they are at the edge and let's say they are not exactly historic wonders. Point is that it's a mixed-use Historic District consisting of residential and commercial concerns. Obviously, historic was not that great a concern in the CVS decision or the decision for the strip malls on the other corners at the West end of Main Street's Historic District. There's your history of possible success.

However, you not only have a variance request to go from residential to commercial BUT that change would shrink and constrict the residential portion of the Historic District in total. To me, that's the big deal because at some point, you will be mostly commercial if we continue to chip away at the residential portions of the historic district. In other words, historic home or not, the residential portion of Hackettstown's Historic District of truly historic homes will lose more of it's buffer from the commercial portion with this move. This makes said residential Historic District closer and closer to the commercial portion lowering the value of the residential historic portion and putting a number of truly historic homes "on the bubble" to be the next commercial variance victim.

In this case, I don't feel for the owner because they could not have purchased the property with the sole intention of being guaranteed a variance to flip it commercial without special inside knowledge.

And while I understand the allure of the ratable, ratable's always come at a cost. In this case, more gas and oil into the Musky; more liter in the neighborhood, grease pits and yuge trash cans, light pollution, noise pollution, more police to patrol this new late night and school day hang out, patrolling the empty building where one of the other three gas stations on that corner went out of business, etc. In other words, ratable's are not free money.

Good luck and Phil D's links speak much to the process of Historic which, at a quick read, seems to be more of a, the town can do whatever it likes process, than a gatekeeper. In other words, if the planners/zoners say it's OK, it's OK. Might be some process things in there to help us, but I doubt it.

Would still love to see the map though so we could really tell how bad the encroachment is. My guess is it completely removes a buffer with the next property on the commercial bubble to be truly historic.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '17

iJay those are older homes and part of the historical district. Most are 150 year old homes that owners have let get into a state of disrepair (some on purpose). Ultimately though we shouldn't keep chipping away at residential areas just for a short term commercial buildings.

Does anyone seriously believe that the ~1 mile radius will support 5 gas stations? Plus another 3 further down 57. This is a short term ratables gain & we'll most likely end up with 1 or 2 defunct gas stations similar to the space across from Raceway.


Or put it this way.

Right now there's a chance someone will restore these houses. A chance.

When converted to commercial, that portion of the residential historic district will be gone forever. There is no chance.

When converted, there's a chance someone will attempt to do the same for the next row of houses in the historic district. A greater chance than if the homes remain.

If they do put in the gas station, make it historic :>)

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '17

BrotherDog - Now that's funny. When is the next "meeting" on that?

DannyC DannyC
Jul '17

I'm in general agreement with you Bonv that the area doesn't seem to be able to handle 5 gas stations, which means the new competition from QC will likely put one or more out of business. So the ratables angle does appear to be short-sighted.

But thinking back about what this area looked like years ago, we've had past expansion that we know, given the hindsight of time, was growth rather than just a shifting of businesses. Is that the case now? I have no idea.

Has anyone presented population projections for our area: 5, 10, 15 years out? That could be a better indicator of growth (higher ratables) over a simple shifting of existing business.

justintime justintime
Jul '17

3 real gas stations..the other 2 are really convience stores that sell gas

Bug3
Jul '17

So what happens to the old QuickCheck building currently standing? Does that stay and become vacant or was the plan to level it?

D-ManPV D-ManPV
Jul '17

I think we've had about as many gas stations added as deleted in the past decade JIT. That's the issue, QuickChek on 517 goes in, BP at bottom of hill goes. Big bag of gas becomes President, Russian Gas across from Raceway goes out ::) Actually the LUK story is probably due to the Middle East dropping the barrel prices.

Under supply and demand, do we see any supply issues? Anyone waiting in line all the time? Do we pay more for gas in H-town because we demand more than we can produce? No and no is what I see.

Seemingly if we add a gas station and it is as successful as the 517 model, someone is going out of business for sure. QC subs won't affect Sub Shack though except to drain away some idiots.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '17

the old quickcheck could become a youth center , give the kids a place to go and have activities that are safe and supervised.

BrotherDog BrotherDog
Jul '17

The old Quick Chek will become a methadone clinic.

Not My Bama!
Jul '17

A youth center? I doubt you could fit a single basketball court in that building, lol.

ianimal ianimal
Jul '17

According to the 2016 taxes...Unless I am misunderstanding it, the property appears to be owned by Hackettstown where the Quickchek is now. Owner Name HACKETTSTOWN PROP C/O QUICK CHEK

https://www13.state.nj.us/pls/nj_public/f?p=TAXLIST:11:0::NO::PAMS_PIN:2108_124_13

So, I guess the question goes to the town what will become of the empty building if they move.

animal lover animal lover
Jul '17

animal lover, Hackettstown Prop = Hackettstown Property Inc. which is the company that owns the current QC building. The town of Hackettstown does not own that building.

http://companynj.com/hackettstown-properties-inc.641223.company.v2

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

Jim, thank you for the clarification, I did not understand.

animal lover animal lover
Jul '17

Has anyone presented population projections for our area: 5, 10, 15 years out? That could be a better indicator of growth (higher ratables) over a simple shifting of existing business.

JIT if you go to the bottom of the town's website this information is actually being presented at next week's planning board meeting

"Housing Element & Fair Share Plan" goes over our current demos and future projects

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

Found it. Hackettstown Historic district runs Main Street to Jefferson St and Water to Liberty Streets. There's also the Hackettstown Main Street Commercial Historic District starting at David's and ending at the train tracks. Somehow the historic home commercial building West of CVS is not included....ooops.

So if it's 5 houses, that takes off the perimeter bottom corner of the HHD representing a pretty good sized chunk of the total houses, maybe 5% of the total number of houses. One could see the ratable attraction to just nip off the bottom corner of the HHD. Also puts 7 or so houses on Washington Street on the perimeter or on the bubble for commercial "development." Today they are buffered from encroachment by the 5 to be levelled houses. To me, that's the real danger going forward with this project; these houses will be worth nothing residentially going forward. They will be worth much as commercial concerns if this project goes through.

My point: this will be a noticeable development, a sizeable reduction in the HHD, it will put additional pressure on the HHD, specifically the Washington street corridor to be developed commercially, and for what? My take is make QC or the developer pay much more than just the ratable to change the zoning there. WIFM --- as in what's in it for me --- to give up what was clearly stated to the owner of these properties before they purchased them. If your going to do this, and add risk to the rest of the HHD, then you better be getting a heck of a lot more than a mere ratable.

http://www.co.warren.nj.us/download/historic.pdf

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '17

Thanks JimL.

Do you know if there is an actual map of the historic district? The text description posted in SD's link leaves room for interpretation, thanks.

justintime justintime
Jul '17

I think that's the point :>)

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '17

there is a map in the zoning office at town hall. but as in SD link here are the borders:

running from Main St to Jefferson Streets and from Water to Liberty Streets.

27. Hackettstown Main Street Commercial Historic District, runs from David’s Country Inn on the east end of Main Street to the railroad crossing at the west end.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

just an FYI they are looking to move the August Zoning Board meeting to a larger space to accommodate the larger audience. So keep an eye out for that announcement.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

JimL, if you go just by the written description then the area where the QC wants to build is excluded.

"Main St to Jefferson Street", Jefferson ends prior to the area in question.

"Water to Liberty Street" is on the opposite side of the road.

Can anyone take a picture of the map?

justintime justintime
Jul '17

I know the streets don't form a perfect grid but if you draw a box out on a map

Jefferson on the West to Main street on the East. Liberty St to the north, Water St to the south. Everything in between is the historic district.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jul '17

Just want to make sure everyone is aware that the Aug 15th Zoning Board meeting is being moved to a larger location . The seating capacity in the Municipal building is 65 people that includes the engineers and the zoning board members.

HACKETTSTOWN ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
NOTICE OF RELOCATED REGULAR MEETING

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the regular meeting of the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment currently scheduled for Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at the regular location of 215 Stiger Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey is being relocated to Trinity House, 212 E. Moore Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey. Due to meeting room capacity issues at the regular location for the subject applicant: Case #Z16-05, Quick Chek Corp., Block 122, Lots 8-12 & 10.01, the meeting is being relocated to a larger facility. The Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting Tuesday, August 15, 2017 will be held at 7:30 PM at Trinity House, 212 E. Moore Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Michele Morpeth Michele Morpeth
Aug '17

Re: Quickchek Mountain Ave Project

I finally found a map of the Historic District as it was in 1988. At the time there were some proposed increases in the district as per the 1983 "Standards & Guidelines" for Historic Preservation as shown in this picture.

Phil D. Phil D.
Aug '17

Re: Quickchek Mountain Ave Project

Here's a picture of the area with the proposed increase, which was the dotted lines which extended the solid line demarcating the current (at that time) boundaries. The additions were made and that should be the current area, unless it has been readjusted during the interim. From the description however, the description seems to match the map.

Phil D. Phil D.
Aug '17

** URGENT ** Tomorrow night folks....


HACKETTSTOWN ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
NOTICE OF RELOCATED REGULAR MEETING

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the regular meeting of the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment currently scheduled for Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at the regular location of 215 Stiger Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey is being relocated to Trinity House, 212 E. Moore Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey. Due to meeting room capacity issues at the regular location for the subject applicant: Case #Z16-05, Quick Chek Corp., Block 122, Lots 8-12 & 10.01, the meeting is being relocated to a larger facility. The Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting Tuesday, August 15, 2017 will be held at 7:30 PM at Trinity House, 212 E. Moore Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Bob Trinneer Bob Trinneer
Aug '17

I believe tonight will be the night to show up and voice your opinions on the Historic value of the properties to be demolished. I doubt they will include time to voice opinions on the project at this point.

The first hurdle is if the homes are of historic value, since they are in the historic district.

Darrin Darrin
Aug '17

Any updates from those in attendance?

D-ManPV D-ManPV
Aug '17

long meeting, ended around 11:40pm . still no vote. Still no public comment on the historical significance of the 5 homes in question

Applicant had another witness testify and then our town historian testified.

Jim L. Jim L.
Aug '17

What did the town historian have to say?

Darrin Darrin
Aug '17

Here's an update -- tried to capture it all, but with a 4 hour meeting I could have gone much longer ----

https://patch.com/new-jersey/hackettstown/quick-check-mountatin-ave-project-update

trekster3~ trekster3~
Aug '17

Terrific article - thank you!


trekster3~

Thanks for posting. That was actually one of the most insightful and well-written pieces I've ever seen on "Patch". After reading of their "tactics" I will never step foot in this Quik Chek if it is approved and built AND am seriously considering boycotting the complete chain. It's become obvious to me (in my humble opinion, of course) that their expert has become a professional shill for QC, bought and paid for and no longer a professional "historian" in my view, except to make properties history while making QC history in terms of places destroyed.

To think they had the audacity to impugn the reputation of Ray Lemasters, who is perhaps the premier and ultimate authority on Hackettstown and its history. That in itself is and should be an affront to all who value his efforts on behalf of Hackettstown.

What happened to their plan to build this monstrosity in Washington Twp.across from Target in an area much more suited to it? I realize they probably ran afoul of the NJDEP, but at least that is a wider and much better controlled area than what they hope to do here in one of the tightest and nastiest choke points in town. I often see people pull out from several cars before the cross street, crossing the double yellow and cutting across the opposing lanes to cut into that street, as well as Little Street and the VNB lot up further just to try to escape the current mess. There is no possible way short of widening that whole road and demolishing every house up the hill that you can "clean up" this proposed debacle to come.

Phil D. Phil D.
Aug '17

Yes, excellent article.
AT THE END of the article is an online PETITION you can sign.
If you oppose, go there and SIGN!!!!!

happiest girl
Aug '17

Nicely written, trekster!

Rebecka Rebecka
Aug '17

So locals would prefer to preserve 5 old unkept houses than to bring in further business and tax revenue, as well as jobs? History is important, but just because a building is old doesn't mean it provides any historical significance. People need to learn to move on and improve the town instead of keeping status quo and massive emigration from the area.

CommonSense CommonSense
Aug '17

creating massive traffic tie-ups worse than what already exists there is not 'improving the town',

BrotherDog BrotherDog
Aug '17

A gas station doesn't bring more traffic to an area. If anything it will give some rush hour commuters a quick place to stop haha not mention, if more people just turned before the light on mountain ave they could easily avoid the traffic that's currently over there. Common sense

CommonSense CommonSense
Aug '17

CommonSense

1) Houses are unkept because the current property owners are not caring for them. They purchased them with the intent to demolish, so they have not been well-maintained for some time.

2) Anywhere within a mile or two of town center would bring jobs, that location is not necessary to meet that criteria.

3) There is not massive emigration from Hackettstown - the Board of Ed has concerns with increased population projections, don't see how you get that.

Everyone is aware of the need to increase the ratable for the already commercially zoned piece - there are several businesses that would work very well there - the property owner might do better to consult with Jim Sheldon, Executive Director of the Business Improvement District to review the gap analysis to see what businesses would be of benefit to the area, something we actually need. With 3 gas stations within a 1/3 mile, hard to believe that the QuickChek meets any need.

Going with the current trends, a business like "Carriage Works Micro Brew" would be an amazing fit!

A little research could go a long way to meeting the needs of the community, property owner and town tax base.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Aug '17

"if more people just turned before the light on mountain ave they could easily avoid the traffic that's currently over there."

That makes no sense "CommonSense" I really think you should explain what street or streets one should turn onto before the "light on mountain ave", then maybe it would make more sense.

From the wording of your earlier post "So locals would prefer..." it seems as though not only are you not a local, but you don't seem to be very familiar withy that area. Perhaps you are and aren't able to properly explain your "common sense" way of staying out of the traffic there. As I mentioned earlier, I see many people illegally drive down the wrong side of the street to cut down one of the side streets, in fact it's the actual intersection where the new Quick Chek is proposed to be placed AND the site where a pedestrian was run over.

Could you try explaining that again?

edit: kudos ~trekster3 for the additional info and rebuttal of "CommonSense"s poor argument and explanation. None of their supposed arguments seem to make any sense to me, much less common sense.

Phil D. Phil D.
Aug '17

Thanks for the link trekster3, signed and sent to friends.

Denis Denis
Aug '17

CommonSense, as a life long resident of the area I am aware all to well of that area. I agree with you. I don't think it will add any more traffic to the area. As far as the new owner letting those houses get run down!!! They have been run down for the last 25+ yrs!!! If anything the project would help that area!!

Dadof3
Aug '17

Speaking as a resident who had this happen to him, one of the problems here is pushing commercial onto residential.

The houses that would now border the gas station never signed up for that. They bought their houses in a residential neighborhood, zoned as residential, with other houses separating them from busy businesses. They did not buy houses next to a gas station......that's a big change....if you live next to it....and yes, the change would tremendously change your quality of life.

Like with Bergen tool, the residents there bought houses next to a light manufacturing zoned property....since then the town allowed the developer to change the zoning to mixed use....and anything would be allowed to come....that is not what those residents signed up for.

Residents look at zoning as a promise of what will always surround them, but this town has proven time and time again that is not the case, bring enough money and pretty pictures and they will allow you to change just about anything

Oh yeah, and that phase 2 of Bergen tool that was suppose to start 2 years ago is still all dirt piles and nothingness.....empty developer promises...so much cleanup was allowed to slide with the promise that building would start asap

At the same time as I am heartfelt for these affected people, I also wonder where they were at the meetings when Bergen tool, which had a ordinance in place to keep the brick building, yet it was overruled and allowed to be demolished.....like I said bring enough money and pretty pictures and they will allow you to change just about anything.

Darrin Darrin
Aug '17

If those houses are in the 'Hackettstown Historic District" why were they not kept up? My sister in law lives in a historic district in Boston and God forbid her grass gets too long or there is a tiny piece of peeling paint on the facia! They will get a visit from the town for any minor infraction or imperfect anything. They needed new shutters and it was a nightmare. They had to be real wood (not the stuff they make them of now) and had to be an exact replica of the original (they had to be the kind that actually closed and locked and then had hooks to keep them open when not in use). They ended up finding a historical carpenter (whatever that is) who made them.

If those 5 houses are supposedly historic, why did the town let them get to the deplorable point they are at now? Quite frankly, if they are not knocked down soon, they look like they will fall down.

Most historic districts impose rules, fines and standards as to what you can and can't do to a historical structure. If they are really part of the town history there should have been a plaque explaining who lived there and the owner should have been forced to at least keep them looking somewhat decent.

Forgetting about the quick check for a moment - why does the town let their historic buildings get to the point that all they are good for is a tear down? They only seem interested in the houses right in front of Centenary..

Heidi Heidi
Aug '17

Heidi - fabulous points - I think this case will bring about at minimum, a review of our historic ordinance.

FYI - I'm not anti-QC - I love their coffee and it is my go-to place when traveling because I know they are almost always clean, well-attended, great staff, etc. etc. etc. - I just think this is the wrong place for one.

trekster3~ trekster3~
Aug '17

"A gas station doesn't bring more traffic to an area." - - - i call BS on this, traffic there is a nightmare now and will get worse if a big gas station is built.

BrotherDog BrotherDog
Aug '17

Step back a bit... Isn't the first order of business whether to be zoned residential or commercial? Isn't that the first priority question, whether or not to encroach further on the historic district with commercial? So if these houses are not perfect examples of well-maintained houses, who cares? Isn't what should be cared about first is whether or not we want to provide a variance to commercial to encroach further on the residential, historic, part of Hackettstown --- much of which is well-maintained and very historic? Much less encroach with a QuickChek.

Who cares whether it's at the edge or in the center: encroach is encroach. Smaller residential area is less residential and more commercial.

Then the question of, are they historic themselves, comes up along with the litany of "what does Hackettstown historic district mean?" From what I can see, Hackettstown's Historic District does not matter much. Seems to be up to the whims of the current government versus some established process and established set of covenants as Heidi was detailing for Boston. I mean unless this guy bought with covenants in place, why should he maintain them to some vague notion of historic, much less maintain to an exact historic restoration level?

Yet the main question still remains, do we want to grant a variance with the trade-off being a rateable QuickChek which encroaches on the residential and historic portion of Hackettstown or do we want to retain the residential zoning as the planners had established.

My vote is no change to the current zoning because our residential district surrounding our historic Centenary is too precious to give up any portion for a Quick Cheek. And what QC is encroaching on is historic, very historic. Doesn't matter what the history or current status of the residential variance being asked for ----- don't tread on our historic residential district ---- even at the fringes --- even if the owner let the place go so they could sell it. Sell it. Feel free. But don't change the zoning.

Secondly, the ratable provided by this QuickChek will be quickly eaten away by the additional infrastructure needed to support it in this location due to traffic, pollution, attractive nuisance requiring additional police support, etc. Don't believe the self-promoting numerical experts rolled out by QC. When you plop an attractive nuisance convenience store a few blocks from the High and Middle Schools in the most traffic congested intersection in our town which will affect most of our citizens one way or another ----- do they really expect the extra taxes to profit the town? Or are we just creating additional problems and costs that the town will have to cover?

One thing is certain. If QC wants to do this, the fight could be long and QC knows that the public often tires in the long run. So continue on with the historic focus, but be prepared that if you lose that one, don't give up. The main question of zoning variance is still just as relevant to the Hackettstown Historic District no matter what the outcome of the historic disposition of these properties, whatever that means anyways. And don't be fooled by the rosy ratable rap they lay down, especially from QC hired experts. IMO the costs to the town at this location will outweigh any financial value they will get from the ratable.

Let them move down Mountain, up 46, wherever. But pick someplace more conducive to commercial and less conducive to destroying our historic residential center of town. Even at the fringes.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Aug '17

The first order of business is the fate of the homes. 3 plus a vacant lot are already in a commercial district. 2 are in a residential district. So determining if the homes are historical or not will decide the fate of at least 3 homes. If they are not historical then the 3 on mountain can come down. Then the fate of the 2 homes on Washington will be decided by the zoning variance. QC needs both the fate of the homes and the zoning to go their way to build.

Jim L Jim L
Aug '17

Holy crap! Everyone please look out the window and see if pigs are flying. Did Hell freeze over? Am I dead? Did the solar eclipse change the world?

Must have.

I just agreed with every word strangerdanger said...

Yes, the eclipse must have caused some type of cosmic shift, lol!

Heidi Heidi
Aug '17

@Heidi, because money talks. Let a property fall apart so a developer can come in and say it would be to costly to repair, then it can be torn down, and replaced with some new cheap building. See Central House, see Bergen Tool.

Denis Denis
Aug '17

The ironic thing is that on the town website they have a link to apply for loans to rehab properties. That's offered through Warren County, but of course that's only if your income is within certain guidelines and only gets paid back when you sell the property. Of course that would apply only if the people that lived there owned the properties rather than a multiple property landowner owning them.

There is no incentive for a multiple property owner who has bought houses in order to rent them out to do anything other than the minimum to make them livable and hopefully within "code" Sadly, it's easier to rent them, let them fall into basic disrepair as you collect rents, then sell when the land portion of the property becomes "valuable" as a commodity to someone else.

Phil D. Phil D.
Aug '17

Central House was such a shame! Bergen Tool could have been repurposed as something else. No need to tear anything down unless there was fire (or some other) damage. Just wait until they want to take down the Clarendon (Bea McNally's) to put a strip mall or or David's Country Inn to widen the road...it's coming folks.

Heidi Heidi
Aug '17

Jim L et al: So....does being historic in the historic district mean you can't be torn down? Is that it? Where can one find these "rules" or whatever determining what it means to be in the historic district and what it means to be historic in the historic district and how one determines if they have been "deemed" historic?

Is there a process to determine historic value? Does historic mean you must comply with some set of covenants?

Is there actual a piece of "historic ordinance" as trekster alludes to? Seems to be a bit ad hoc to me. So I agree with trekster who said: "I think this case will bring about at minimum, a review of our historic ordinance." If folks make this point and drive it home, perhaps the zoning board and the planners will put something in place to avoid looking pretty stupid and silly as I feel will be one of the outcomes of this experience if citizens do their part.

As to the current condition, landowner letting them fall down, etc. ---- again, what are the ordinances preventing that? Basically I am betting it's up to the owner where some see value in maintenance, others just milk their cash cow until the asset is squeezed dry at which point, they flip it the best way they can. Can be two different visions for the same property --- both can provide profit. I am guessing this owner has taken the low road before and its a style they are comfortable with. But again, all the rest of us have is the definition of historic district and does that really mean anything besides some pretty, pretty words.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Aug '17

So....does being historic in the historic district mean you can't be torn down?

That is what the 6+ hours of arguments has been at these meetings. Are these homes contributing to our historical district. Does our Historical district ordinance have any power to prevent homes in the district from being demoed?

Jim L. Jim L.
Aug '17

That's a good point;

What EXACTLY are the regulations (if any) surrounding historical homes/homes in the historical district? Also, what is the actual difference between a house that happens to be in the "mapped out" historic "district" and/or an actual "historic house?"

I know in Boston, if you look at a house for sale that is "historic" the realtor must include a sheet explaining what you are agreeing to if you purchase that home (original looking siding, certain historical colors as your only palette, items replaced must be exact replicas and the same material, only certain types of landscaping is allowed, etc., etc., ...) The town is all over your a$$ about anything and everything you want to do to the house, in some instances, right up to the types of flowers you can grow. .

It doesn't seem to me that the historical significance of those houses meant a damn thing to anyone until now, and nobody, including the town historian, the town itself or the historical society really know what it means exactly anyway - or what the rules are (if any) either...

Heidi Heidi
Aug '17

Does the public really care? Zoning Board, Planning Board, Local Government in general; I would argue..NO you dont! You are giving it all away and dont care (your voice). Case in point, public presence at the planning boarding meeting tonight...ZERO! Get involved folks, you are giving this town, county and country away with your negligence. It happens one meeting at a time where you chose not to go; how is HMUA? What did the planning board discuss tonight? Where was your voice years before this QC project?

Civic Responsibility is defined as the "responsibility of a citizen" (Dictionary.com). It is comprised of actions and attitudes associated with democratic governance and social participation. ... Citizenship means "a productive, responsible, caring and contributing member of society."

Guess what it is more than voting once every few years.

Great to see so many on this forum...how much weight does this hold at one of this local or county government meetings...I give you a hint same as the number of public folks at the planning board meeting tonight.

Good Luck Good Luck
Aug '17

Yes, it will be a long fight. Good Luck is right, although perhaps a heads-up might have been better than an admonishment after the fact. Did they talk about the project, Good Luck? It was noted that this is a zoning board, not planning board issue which is probably why the same zoning board meeting attendees were not there.

JL --- that's our point. If there were ordinances, processes, whatever ---- there wouldn't be 6+ hours of discussion; just does it comply or not? The question about " Does our Historical district ordinance have any power to prevent homes in the district from being demoed" should not be the question --- that should have been answered with the creation of the Historic District. Makes me think back to Dirty Harry: "well, does it punk?"

I think the answer is the Historic District has no teeth, the emperor has no clothes.

Heidi notes that in Boston there are covenants in the historic district just like when you buy into a planned community. Anyone who purchased ahead of the HD creation would be grandfathered most likely. But new owners would be apprised of the "costs' of buying into the historic district and must comply, as a point of law, with the covenants. It's just sounds like in our case, they is just a area designated on the map and no further ordinances whatsoever. If that's the case, they will just do what they want and gf you all the way to the decision. So do the dance, but put your real effort in stopping the zoning variance. That's where you have laws working for you on what can be and can't be done.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Aug '17

Good Luck,

thanks for that passionate response but how are folks to know that these are going on? how often is this communicated and where? As a fairly new home owner where does this come as a member of the town you just moved into? So as passionate as your response may be who is helping to bring people into the loop and to get as involved as you would like? Would you think that maybe your note a day before or day of at least to say you expect that presence would help?

I commend the person who put a flier into our mailbox to help get folks involved regarding the QC meetings and has done a great job and making people care. without knowledge of meetings and placing it as the very last file on an outdated website like hackettstown.net it will be given the same amount of support and effort as what went into making it known in the first place.

not looking to ruffle feathers but as one who is looking to become more actively involved there is sure as hell not alot of help or guidance on where to look and go.

Enlighten Me
Aug '17

Just a quick note. I live on Church Street, less than 2 blocks from the college's front gate. We painted our house, no one cared (no one cared for all of the years it wasn't painted, either). Not one word from anyone. The people up the street made their windows smaller. No one said boo. Many of the houses in this neighborhood are sorely in need of (expensive) paint or siding jobs. No one says anything. The historical committee (or whatever they are called) approve random things like the weird windows on the ugly brick dr.'s office on Washington. Not really an historic look alike.

This committee should have clear standards, written down. If they get involved in the construction/renovation of a building that should be recorded - the address, the situation, the outcome. There should be some kind of precedent - at the very least, for how to actually treat the historic district. The precedent we are setting now, should this project be approved, is that any building in Hackettstown can be torn down regardless of it's presence in the town sanctioned "historic" district. In that case, you might as well throw the boundaries map away. It means nothing.

MommaOfBoys MommaOfBoys
Aug '17

It seems like there is no precedence, no standards/regulations, no specific criteria and no jurisdiction that the town and/or the town's historical society can impose.

Heidi Heidi
Aug '17

If being historic in a historic district does not prevent you from being torn down then what is the historic district supposed to be for. If it does not prevent the tear down does it support it? What is the point of the district if you can tear historic homes down?

Why can't the great folks on the committee decline approval due to the ridiculous traffic scenario this will cause?

Sounds like the good ole' govt folks got caught with their pants down if they don't know what the historic district is for or not for. Sounds like you got some work to do instead of wasting time on doggie door ordinances.

Homeslice
Aug '17

Those houses bought up for demolition purposes were absolute dumps. Several were owned by doctors, who rented them out to welfare non-working people. (Section 8 tenants).They were/are an eyesore on the outside. No Historical Approved maintenance happened there. Old couches and a weightlifting set were on the sagging porches. I was only ever inside of 1. Saw Illegal subdivision, and 4 dogs, who were using the house as a toilet. (Gross). That one was a definite teardown.
I guess our town leaders should be enforcing laws. Do They? I see stockade fencing around yards near Centenary. Is that allowed in Historic area? And is there a map of the designated Historic area?


enlighten me: http://www.hackettstown.net/

email our mayor and ask what is available. In the interim just participate in the various board meetings...They are open to the public...if they care.

Good Luck Good Luck
Aug '17

"Those houses bought up for demolition purposes were absolute dumps."

That's the issue. If those houses were historic or were in the historic district why did the town allow them to become "dumps?" There is nothing wrong with renting out a historic building to tenants - as long as the house is kept up and any repairs are done in a manner that keeps to the original look/quality/type of materials.

The same thing can be said for some of the places on Main St. For instance, why did the town allow the old Chick's Barber Shop building (also an historic building in the historic district) to delapidate to it's current condition. That will be the next fight over a tear down. I don't know who the current owner is but there should be fines and lawsuits imposed to get whomever it is to do something to fix it up, no?

Heidi Heidi
Aug '17

Lili, how do you know that a house has been illegally subdivided? The landlord allowed the outside of those buildings to become what they are now because of this pending deal with QC.

animal lover animal lover
Aug '17

and btw Lili - often section 8 people work at minimum wage jobs - and not always by choice - and can't pay a rent without some help - maybe they should be homeless???

4catmom 4catmom
Aug '17

OK folks --- here it is; all the power you need in the hands of five Historic Preservation Commission.....here are the rules, such that they are: http://www.hackettstown.net/land-development-code/

On a really rough read, it appears that either the historic integrity of the building must be maintained OR replacements must be in-kind with the historic district. The QuickChek Painted Lady, coming to a historic district near you.....

Of course, the commission has inventoried all properties all ready....... :<(

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Aug '17

And the Hackettstown Historic District Commission is....

HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION:
Jeff Saunders (Class A)……………....……………………. 2020
Carol McKinney (Class C), ………………….…………… 2018
Glenn Newton(Class C)…………………….………………. 2019
Joseph Clarke (Classs C)………………………………….. 2017
Paul Bardyszewski(Class B)……………………………….. 2017
Terrie Allen(Class D),1st Alternate………………………….2018
(Class D),2nd Alternate ………………………… 2017
The Historic Preservation Commission
meets the 3rd Thursday of each month
at 7:30 PM in the Municipal Building

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Aug '17

From the 2012 Master Plan Reexamination Report: "b. Historic District
i. The HWPPC has provided the Town with a $5,000 grant to update the existing Historic Preservation Plan Element with appropriate architectural guidelines. This grant will resolve issues with regard to the ordinance, but not the historic resource inventory update that was noted in the 2008 Reexamination Report."

So they got the $5,000 to update with appropriate guidelines.....

I can not find any "Historic Preservation Plan Element" at this time.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Aug '17

So, essentially, there are no guidelines to speak of...great.

Heidi Heidi
Aug '17

Maybe the idea could be presented to the town council?

Darrin Darrin
Aug '17

Not rocket science Darrin. Just North until they pronounce beer, bare and then grab a copy of the Boston Historic District ordinances and covenants.

There are "rules" in the development code, just not sure how precise versus subjective they are.

There is also a lot that was proposed to be done, I just can't find any results.

Somebody tell me these 5 commissioners are volunteers. Pleeeeeeze

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Aug '17

http://www.achp.gov/nhpp.html

Maybe the town can get some ideas from the federal guidelines?

Heidi Heidi
Aug '17

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment will
be held on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 7:00PM (for this meeting only). This
meeting is being relocated from the Municipal Building to the Trinity House, 212 E.
Moore Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840.
AGENDA
1. Call to Order
2. Sunshine Act
3. Roll Call
4. Pledge of Allegiance
5. Approval of minutes – August 15, 2017
6. Resolutions – None
7. Case #Z17-06, Kenneth Stearns
Block 99, Lot 4
8. Case #Z17-07, Renee Feldman
Block 94, Lot 6
9. Case #Z16-05, Quick Chek Corp. continuation
Block 122, Lots 8-12 &amp; 10.01
10. Old/New Business
11. Adjournment

FORMAL ACTION MAY OR MAY NOT BE TAKEN

Darrin Darrin
Aug '17

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the regular meeting of the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment currently scheduled for Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at the regular location of 215 Stiger Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey is being relocated to Trinity House, 212 E. Moore Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey. Due to meeting room capacity issues at the regular location for the subject applicant: Case #Z16-05, Quick Chek Corp., Block 122, Lots 8-12 &amp; 10.01, the meeting is being relocated to a larger facility. Also included on the agenda will be Case #s 17-06, Kenneth Stearns (Block 99, Lot 4), and 17-07, Renee Feldman (Block 94, Lot 6). The Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting for Tuesday, September 19, 2017 will be held at 7:00 PM at Trinity House, 212 E. Moore Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Darrin Darrin
Aug '17

Anyone hear anything recently about the Wawa that was approved a bit ago? Figured we would have seen some progress being made but seems as if nothing has happened in that location yet.

Georgie
Sep '17

It was approved this spring and they hoped to begin construction in October with it being ready to open by June 2018. To

Jim L Jim L
Sep '17

I went by the lot today and they are cleaning all the weeds and stuff


Where is the Wawa going? Also, does anyone know what is going in the lot next to McD's? Used to be the old dry cleaners.

USAfirst USAfirst
Sep '17

The Wawa is going by Appleby in the back lot. I don't know what is going in the dry cleaners


Meeting Update:

After testimony from the property owner expert, extensive community testimony both pro and con regarding the project, as well as response from the applicant, the zoning board voted to approve the demolishing of the 5 homes with a condition. The condition being that they cannot be demolished until a site plan for a replacement structure is approved.

Just based on the current existing laws, and the state of our historic ordinance, the board had no choice and they made the correct decision.

The board lawyer made a lot of sense in that the condition prevents another empty lot, that left alone erodes the transition from the commercial to residential areas.

There is still a very long way to go and the next meeting is in November. By then the Wawa should be well underway.

I personally am very confused by why Quick Chek is so invested in this site, it doesn't really work well for their business model and by the time they spend all the money getting this site through they could have obtained approvals and opened up on a much more suitable property.

I will continue to fight this particular project all the way through since it negatively impacts so many of our residents directly.

There is no doubt that some sort of commercial entity will likely occupy that location, but it can certainly be a gentler transition and be a business that fills a genuine need in Hackettstown. A gas station is certainly not needed and is not in the best interests of our town, in my opinion.

The next real question is if the Planning Board or Town Council will revise/replace the Historic Ordinance so that it has some legal standing to preserve the rest of the town.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Sep '17

Wow, I'm sorry to read that, trekster. Thanks for keeping us updated.

Tracy Tracy
Sep '17

They're knocking down 5 homes? Like eminent domain? I thought only Democrats do that.

Roi de Grimaces Roi de Grimaces
Sep '17

The town is not knocking down 5 homes. the zoning just agreed there is no legal standing to prevent the homes from coming down

Jim L Jim L
Sep '17

You should probably learn the definition of eminent domain

"the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation."

the town is not taking over these lots

Jim L Jim L
Sep '17

~trekster3 thank you for keeping us informed, sounds like a good thing to bring up at a town council meeting. i agree that more power and laws should be put into the historical society, otherwise, what is to stop this from happening to all of the historical society.....whats the point of a historical society at all if they have no standing?

All I see lately is developers coming in and crushing what towns label as historic, not just here, but other places too. Look a a good majority of recent builds.

Darrin Darrin
Sep '17

I've been wondering why people are against a new QuickChek because the one there is tiny and old, and now we'll be getting one with a gas station! I dunno why people are so opposed to it- they should be focusing on clearing up that damn congested intersection nearby! And we're getting a Wawa too- unbelievably awesome!

Tim Mischka Tim Mischka
Sep '17

Tim, your post answers it's own question. You complain about a congested intersection, yet want to bring more congestion to the area by adding a quick check??

My question is, to the remaining homes that would now view, and smell, a gas station, what does taking a home out of a residential neighborhood and putting them next to a gas station do to the value of these homes? I would think they would go down....at lease the sell-ability would go down, IMO.

Darrin Darrin
Sep '17

"i agree that more power and laws should be put into the historical society, otherwise, what is to stop this from happening to all of the historical society" that rare moment where Darrin demands more law :>) And I am sure he meant historic district not a goose stepping historical society demanding more power, more power...

Actually any historic district covenants would be a step forward for having a historic district to begin with.

Meanwhile, back the at Quickchek ranch, my answer, Tim, is that I do not want any encroachment on Hackettstown residential zoning. Yes, it would be nice to have a better intersection. Yet that should just be a chip in the zoning change game. That is, I don't want no more stinkin stores where houses filled with residents used to stand. That's been the battle all along on this one ---- why do they deserve the zoning variance so Hackettstown can become more commercial and less residential? That remains true whether historic or not, well maintained or not. And if the town gives on the zoning variance, what do they get in return? Just another Quickchek? I hope they can negotiate better than that.

Anyone know the dramatics behind the zoning issue?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '17

702 POWERS AND JURISDICTION OF THE ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

E. General Provisions
1. No variance or other relief may be granted by the Board unless such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the zone plan and the zoning provisions of this Ordinance.

http://www.hackettstown.net/land-development-code/

Here is our Land Development Ordinance. Section 700 deals with the Zoning Board and This is the issue QC is dealing with their Use Variance request.

Jim L. Jim L.
Sep '17

I think Tim was referring to the Route 46 & Mountain Ave intersection (David's Country Inn).

Hot under the collar
Sep '17

Hot under the collar - Impossible...Two landmarks, David's Country Inn and The Sub Shack. Must be a few blocks up, at Bell's Lane.

DannyC DannyC
Sep '17

Danny,

Tim said he is happy about Quick Chek and Wawa coming to town and the town should focus on the intersection nearby. I think he is refering to the David's Country Inn area.

Hot under the collar
Sep '17

Hot under the collar - So tear down David's Country Inn and The Sub Shack? Not happening. Two gas stations with convenience stores across the street. What need?

DannyC DannyC
Sep '17

Ugh Danny Tim was saying clear up the congestion at the 5 corners. By fixing the timing of the lights not by tearing down Davids or sub shack. How do you not get that?

Jim L Jim L
Sep '17

I agree, timing of the lights is crazy, they can honestly allow another 10-12 seconds. I'd also be in favor of widening the intersection on the Willow Grove side by tearing out that abandoned red structure and shortening the Speedway apron to allow for a dedicated right hand lane. At least that would improve flow slightly, although most people want 46 or 183. Of course not sure who owns the roads, if they're county then it takes a bit more to make a change.

Mickey Mickey
Sep '17

I never said to get rid of Sub Shack or David's Country Inn. Neither did Tim. He was saying that the intersection there needs improvement. I agree with him.

Hot under the collar
Sep '17

"tearing out that abandoned red structure"

Who says someone's house is abandoned?


"...without substantial detriment to the public good ..." Adding another gas station at a poor placed location will hopefully be a strong argument. Ratables will be QC's argument but the counter will be the sustainability of 5 gas stations in less than 2 miles.

"...and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the zone plan and the zoning provisions of this Ordinance." Changing to zoning on the Washington St side would definitely substantially impair the intent of the residential zoning - or at least I hope it's interpreted that way.


Hot under the collar and Jim L - Agreed, the five corners is a traffic bottleneck. But, there are congestion detection systems that can be integrated with the street lights to get traffic flowing smoothly. Much cheaper and more effective than demolishing homes and/or widening roads. I would be happy to help select and install one for the five corners.

DannyC DannyC
Sep '17

"No variance or other relief may be granted by the Board unless such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the zone plan and the zoning provisions of this Ordinance."

Interesting Jim...but what is the definition of substantial in this case?

And also, who is the "public"

These words can be manipulated to be as many or as little as you want, which really leaves that ordnance very open ended.

5-6 home values that plummet may not be considered "substantial"

Darrin Darrin
Sep '17

Danny C

What is your back ground?

Maybe someone with your skills can work with the town to fix the traffic issues in the area.

Besides the problems at David's Country Inn, that were discussed earlier in the thread, I hate the backup at the light on Rt 57 by the old Golden Skillet.
I also hate trying to pull out of the Tap House on 57. The way Grand Ave backs up is dangerous.

There is a lot of work for someone with your skill set.

Hot under the collar
Sep '17

Hot under the collar - Electrical engineering. Working on the problem in precisely the way you suggest. Thanks.

DannyC DannyC
Sep '17

Hey there - any updates and/or when is the next meeting scheduled for?

trekster3~ trekster3~
Nov '17

Sadly, I noticed the owner has begun cutting down trees in preparation of taking down the historic structures I gather. Unfortunate as yet another group of properties lost to unnecessary commercial development of a once quaint area in a residential neighborhood. Soon to be destroyed and lost forever. The town must examine the decisions moving forward carefully. Not simply give the stamp of approval then state some nonsense like " we had no choice". Rubbish, there is always a choice when a group of elected officials have a fiduciary responsibility to put the quality of life for the citizens as well as establishing and adhering to a common sense long term development plan for the town. Basing decisions on a ratable and or projected revenue is short sighted and typically not in the best interest of the municipality long term. Caving in to a (familiar) developer and or his legal team is unacceptable and simply a cop out. In my humble opinion.


It's not rubbish to follow the law though. Moving forward, change the law but it is what it is today...

justintime justintime
Nov '17

I don't think it's been approved yet & hopefully it won't based on the zoning variance.


So let me get this straight, the owner has begun taking down trees but has yet to get the zoning variance, interesting to say the least.

kb2755 kb2755
Nov '17

I'm not for the gas station but to call those dumps on Mt. Ave historical structures is a joke. Eyesores - maybe?


The owner has also removed all the fencing and sheds on the properties. I heard that the remaining tenants were told to leave the last two houses. It is my understanding that the actual houses cannot be torn down without an approved replacement. Is this true? I also had heard that the owner is now revisiting the Bilby Rd. project again. Can anyone confirm this?

animal lover animal lover
Nov '17

I am sure Danny can come up with a solution to improve traffic flow in town, especially at the five-corners. However, no matter what you do you can't put "10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound bag" ( as they used to say). There is just too much traffic in the area. One main problem I see is that Main Street, a local street thru the center of town, is also a State Highway ( Rt. 46). Rt. 46 should bypass downtown H'town. I have no idea how to get that done. And I don't mean linking up with Rt. 57 as has been proposed in the past. We all know what one 18-wheeler traveling down the single lane of Main St while contending with traffic lights and cars trying to park at the meters, etc. can do to slow the traffic down.

JBJSKJ JBJSKJ
Nov '17

I heard the quickcheck on mountain ave. was done. they are going elsewhere. congrats everyone!

scottso scottso
Nov '17

I don't think an owner has to wait for approval of a new structure. It makes sense to remove a structure, in this case homes as the property taxes will be reduced to just the land assessment until another structure is constructed. In this case it is unclear whether or not there will be a tax abatement or not. related to that project.That will be part of the process as it moves forward I gather.

For example this same owner tore down a beautiful four square style home on Washington Street several years ago. The lot sits empty so the taxes due are only on the land there. It is a financial decision. In the case of the QC properties I would bet it is a situation of that strategy and most likely a very strong sense of there will be a monstrosity of a commercial building there sooner then later. Lets face it the properties were not purchased for the high volume of rent they generate. They were purchased to develop and sadly wreck a residential neighborhood on the Washington Street side.


As per the Zoning Board, the Applicant has permission to tear down the 5 homes with the condition that they can not be torn down until replacement has received site approvals. So they can't be torn down until something else, whether it's QC or another project, gets its approvals.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

I believe the still have to approve changing from residential to commercial too right?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

the 3 homes on Mountain Ave are already commercial, so something commercial can go there. It's the 2 homes on Washington that is the issue. They are in a residential zone so if anything commercial wants to go there they need a variance. If QC walks away or doesn't get the zoning changed, then the homes on Mountain will still come down for something commercial.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Jim- Is having approvals for a new structure prior to knocking down an existing building dealt with on a case by case basis or simply part of that process here in town?


That was the condition the zoning board put in this application

Jim L Jim L
Nov '17

I think it is just something the board added in to protect the site from what has happened to other sites, buildings get demolished, the site becomes unsightly, and the site sits untill approval finally comes....I think developers seem to think this puts more pressure on a town to approve their plans (which it may in fact do)

Stupid question, but how are homes on a commercial lot?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

Thanks Jim. I agree Darrin that was a wise move the zoning board made on this proposal. However I will say typically when this owner/developer does remove a building and the lot sits undeveloped for some time, it is always very well kept and neat.


Because Darrin back in the day there was no zoning so you had commercial next to residential next to manufacturing. Finally towns, states decided to draw zoning maps. So Mountain ave was decided to be a commercial zone. But since those homes were there already they they could remain residential.

That’s why you see random homes on roads like Rte 46 in Budd Lake or on Rte 22. The road is zoned commercial but those homes are grandfathered in. Once those families finally decide to sell they will be sold to a commercial developer

Jim L Jim L
Nov '17

Ahhhh, thank you Jim!

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

Just a quick note/observation/thanks to Jim L who always takes the time on whatever thread it is, to point out the facts and provide solid information as opposed to speculation....greatly appreciated

jpb3302 jpb3302
Nov '17

Don't the zoning maps get reviewed every 7 years?..for the master plan?

Bug3
Nov '17

correct bug3.. every 10years, and the planning board is currently reviewing the Master Plan as we speak for this year. the last one was done in '08

The zoning board decided to put that condition is as they (the board as a whole, some disagreed) felt the homes were still functioning and there was no point of just knocking them down until a replacement was approved.


no problem jpb, I try to at least keep people updated on the facts of some of these projects.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Really good questions and information.

@scottso, curious where you heard that Quick Check walked away. Would be really good to confirm that one way or the other. Perhaps, that's why this hasn't been up for a meeting in October.


So they can sneak in a zoning change in the master plan review?

Bug3
Nov '17

As far as I know QC has not backed away. They stated at the Sept meeting That they would not be able to attend the October meeting and asked if they could present at the November meeting.

And no bug3 we have no intentions of sneaking in a zoning change with this new master plan

Jim L Jim L
Nov '17

I recently heard that Peter Paftonos (property owner) was nominated to fill a position on the town Parking Authority. I thought he lived in Chester so I'm not sure how that's possible but it also raises a lot of questions about conflicts of interests.

I'm not sure how someone gets nominated to these positions - is it a tap on the shoulder, who you knew kind of nomination?


It's easy. When you are very familiar with and have both public and private friendships with folks on the council- you're in. If that doesn't scream good old boy network nothing does. In my opinion.

From the September 28th council meeting:

Acting Mayor DiMaio appointed Peter Paftinos to the vacant position on the Parking Authority with a term expiring December 31, 2019.

Motion was made (Sheldon) and seconded (Tynan) to confirm Acting Mayor DiMaio’s appointment of Peter Paftinos to the vacant position on the Parking Authority with a term expiring December 31, 2019.

Roll Call Vote: Yes – DiMaio, Engelau, Kunz, Lambo, Sheldon and Tynan


Hmm so it wasn't just a rumor. The appointment part does make it sound like it's all about politics - that's really a shame & doesn't bode well for this project and many others.

I'll have to call the town next week because it seems odd to me that someone that doesn't live in Hackettstown should be appointed to these positions.


Property owners or residents can fill certain committees. Some committees such as Planning and Zoning require certain “Class” and those have to all be residents

Unfortunately long time resident and parking Authority Committee member Mr Sheldon passed away. The opening was made public. These positions are so hard to fill. We have opening all the time and the same people volunteer to fill them or sometimes are begged to fill them because no one wants to do them

If you are interested in filling any position please contact the mayor, meet with her and she will Keep you on a list for when a position opens up or when one is set to expire. That is how I first got involved, as a Committee member.

Jim L Jim L
Nov '17

Why would someone from Chester want to serve on a Hackettstown Parking Authority Board?..Must be some kind of political perk involved

Brad2
Nov '17

Good information Jim L.

The idea of a list seems a little odd in this day & age but ultimately for this particular project the fact that the property owner is close to board members & mayor really seems off.


I gather the list is often empty as there are several openings on various authorities, non departmental boards, and commissions. I know the Mayor told me that herself in the past.

It is a fact that some of these positions require one to be a resident. The Shade Tree and Board of Health for instance require one to be a resident. The Parking Authority does not. I guess Mr. Paftinos is lucky as his desire to selflessly serve was able to be accommodated.

Brad2- You mean to suggest it is one little podunk town full of incestuous activity at the governing body level? Sounds harsh. LOL

Just kidding of course. I do believe our council and Mayor are working in the best interest of the town. However this development is a bit unusual to say the least. In my opinion.


The appointment of Mr. Paftinos to the Parking Authority at this point in time certainly does not give the public any confidence in the workings of our town government.

With his current project in play, even it was viewed favorably, he should not be in consideration for any town committees.Surely the council understands that the appointment does have a certain 'smell' to it.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Nov '17

How is someone that has a vested $$$ interest, as well as a known developer who only owns property in town to build on, not to reside in, being on any committee not a conflict of interest? I am quite confused

If that is not putting the wolf in the hen's house, idk what is

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

all roads lead to the mayor, her political allies and close supporters. They make the decisions and appointments. Follow the money............................


They should just recuse themselves from decisions affecting their own personal business. It's not the abuse, it's the appearance of abuse that matters in government.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Nov '17

And vote.

Eperot Eperot
Nov '17

I’m sorry is he building a parking garage? If not then sorry I see no conflict of interest having him sit on the non paying parking Authority Committee while one of his project is in front of the zoning board. It has a smell to it because you want it to have a smell to it.

Follow the $? What $ are we exactly supposed to follow?

Jim L Jim L
Nov '17

hope the project gets cancelled, it's a bad idea

BrotherDog BrotherDog
Nov '17

I’m playing stupid? Ok enlighten me. How is being on the parking Authority Committee help someone get their non parking project through? You think anyone on the zoning board cares that he is now on the parking Authority Committee?

And let’s be honest here I have personally reached out to a few HL’ers that seem to have a lot of passion on HL about what’s going on in town to see if they would be interested in filling some open Committee positions. Shockingly none setup up.

Jim L Jim L
Nov '17

SD,

It's what goes on behind the scenes that is concerning. If the fox is in the hen house but promises not to eat any hens, do you trust it? The hens still know he is there and will act accordingly.

Getting into the hen house is the first step, getting the hens to trust you is step two.

Jim, people have a smell to it, because things like this can lead to other situations, let's not put the blinders on and play stupid here.

I am not saying that anything will happen because of this, I hope it doesn't, but that doesn't change the fact that it certainly doesn't look good. Being on a committee gives you direct lines of communication to other committees as well as the mayor.

For instance...hey if you approve this in your committee, I will make sure you get "this" approved from another committee

AGAIN, I am not saying this happens, or will happen in our town, but it has and does happen elsewhere! Plenty of corruption cases out there to prove it

Yes he CURRENTLY only has one project sitting in front of a board, but he has multiple projects in town I believe correct? and he may have more projects in town in the future correct?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

Jim L

A better question is why would he want to be on the parking authority?..He is not a resident only a land owner..The parking authority us responsible for all parking lot leases meters and fines..

Bug3
Nov '17

Sorry Jim, I edited my post, and now they are out of order, I did add details which should answer your question, and again, I am not saying this will happen, I am just explaining the reason some may be concerned.

Who's to say that QC falls through and a project with parking doesn't evolve out of it?

Looking at our current day situation and making a judgement without basis on future possibilities isn't really doing much.

As bug stated, What would be one's motive to join a unpaid committee in a town in which they do not live but they do business in?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

Darrin I suggest you read the minutes of parking authority meetings to see how much "power" they really wield. It's pretty basic stuff, making sure the parking lots are clean, lit and the meters are working.

"What would be one's motive to join a unpaid committee in a town in which they do not live but they do business in?"

believe it or not some actually are interested in helping the community. we have property owners that volunteer on different committees, I'll take them over slumloards any day.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Jim - being on a committee would be an honor, but one that will wait until my kids are out of HS, I squandered too much time in over-involvement and will take these last precious years that they are in my daily life to heart.

With that said, if you do not acknowledge that it 'smells' funny, you have blinders on.
There may well be no fallout from his appointment, which I hope to be true. But Greg and Darrin bring up valid points about access to people directly involved in determining Paftinos' financial future. And you are correct the Parking Authority does not wield a whole lot of power, which begs to ask why he wants be on it anyway - and that answer is to gain access and increased familiarity with those that can determine his future.

If he really is civic minded, which would be fabulous, is he on any boards and committees where he lives? If he is not, then you could come to the determination that he is not truly civic minded, just out to increase his potential income. Did a quick search and there is no mention of any Paftino on the website at all, forget about civic involvement. http://chesterborough.org/

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Nov '17

I heard that Councilman Sheldon is getting all of his people on the zoning board so that this passes. He had John Stout and Tom Scott appointed, who both have made it know that they are for this project. I guess Councilman Sheldon must be getting future work from Mr. Paftinos. Sad.

Richie
Nov '17

~trekster3, you personally know another property owner that sits on the parking authority... do you question why he volunteers his time even though he doesn't live in town? if you don't question his civic involvement but questions Peter's then sorry you are the one with blinders on. You are so hell bent against this project you want to believe shady stuff is happening instead of letting the process play out and see what actually happens

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

You're right - I do not like this project - primarily because of the gas station component.

With the other property owner you mention, he is actively involved in his own town - and I know him personally to be no-nonsense and he routinely does not take advantage of any situation - he holds himself and others to a pretty high standard and recuses himself without being told to. He has been active in many town activities throughout his career and has given greatly of his time without expecting anything in return. He is also a shrewd businessman, who does watch for his self-interests, but he does so in consideration of the community at large and it's individual citizens.

There are many developers and property owners in town who cannot say that of themselves. Frankly, my only issue with Paftinos going on the Parking Authority is timing --- could it not have waited until the process has indeed played out?

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Nov '17

Jim, you are doing a awful lot of defending on something that is so unknown....like it's never happened elsewhere......

people are allowed to show concern, but hey, if he joined the committee out of the goodness of his heart, and has no interest on making a impression because of it, or anything else mentioned, wonderful, we need more people like that on our boards!

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

Oh and for clarification - I do like me a good Quick Chek gas station - just think it's the wrong location for it - impacts too many people and the traffic - so many other good places for it to go.

trekster3~ trekster3~
Nov '17

I don't think you could make the traffic any worse. It sucks no matter what. It's just not attractive to be living next to or across from a gas station. There's plenty of room down the road for something like this.

Metsman Metsman
Nov '17

I agree, All for a gas station, just not on top of existing residential....the smell alone is enough for me to make that decision, let alone the noise, traffic, etc.....totally wrong place for it.

I do not even live next to it and I can clearly see how bad of a idea it is, If I lived next to it, I would be LIVID!

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

Jim L said:
"And let’s be honest here I have personally reached out to a few HL’ers that seem to have a lot of passion on HL about what’s going on in town to see if they would be interested in filling some open Committee positions. Shockingly none setup up."

Check and Mate HLifers.

scottso scottso
Nov '17

"could it not have waited until the process has indeed played out?"

we had 2 openings on the parking authority out of 5 total positions. So no filling those positions could not have waited.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Yet no thread on Hackettstown life asking for volunteers..just reaching out to the select few..maybe if the town council advertised the openings people might apply

Bug3
Nov '17

Jim L probably reached out to those who fit the "good ole boys" mold in this town.

Metsman Metsman
Nov '17

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment will
be held on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 7:00PM. This meeting is being relocated
from the Municipal Building to the Trinity House, 212 E. Moore Street,
Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840.
AGENDA
1. Call to Order
2. Sunshine Act
3. Roll Call
4. Pledge of Allegiance
5. Approval of minutes – September 19, 2017
6. Resolutions –

Case #Z17-07, Renee Feldman
Block 94, Lot 6
Case #Z16-05, Quick Chek Corp
Block 122, Lots 8-12 &amp; 10.01

7. New Business
Case #Z17-08, Peter J. Rowland – Variance Application - Completeness

Block 16, Lot 10
Case #16-05, Quick Chek Corp –Site Plan Application - Continuation
Block 122, Lots 8-12 &amp; 10.01

8. 2018 Budget Discussion
9. Adjournment

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

Scottso, "check and mate is more used in friendly games of Chess while checkmate is used more in official games"

I would say this isn't friendly!

I personally find it more effective to be able to speak freely as public then I do being held down by what you can and cannot say as a member of a board, but that being said, as vocal as I am, and apparently as desperate as the town is for members, I was only ever asked about a spot on the Zoning board quite some time ago, it wasn't by Jim and I did not take it because of the happenings of the Bergen Tool Project, I would of had to step down and not been able to say anything.

Darrin Darrin
Nov '17

Again: he really only needs to recuse himself from decisions directly affecting his investment(s). The rest is poppycock.

As to behind the scenes.....sure, it's happened before --- they got caught, that's how we know. Yet, for the most part, what does being one member, on this specific committee, provide any leverage value or any other value whatsoever for the grand behind-the-scenes conspiracy.... What back can be scratched from this committee? As to his motivations for local public service, give it a rest, you don't have a clue. Maybe he's moving here next week and is tired of all you scofflaws skipping on the meter :>) Maybe he can get the job here and not at home and he just loves to go parking. I used to :>) Maybe he's just a nice guy who likes to help.

What's next? Only people living currently in H-town can post? Rut Roh, Rarrin, rould re rubble.

So what's the quid pro quo from meter maid to quick chek for either in your face or behind the scenes nefarious parking naughty do's?

Or is the notion of a good conspiracy just good enough?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Nov '17

Good point bug3.

Jim L - how does the town make these openings known to the general public?

And who, in town government, invited Mr Paftino to fill that spot?

Scottso Scottso
Nov '17

Jim L.
Where can one see what vacancies need to be filled on town committees/boards? I would be interested in serving.
Thank you

Walking Girl Walking Girl
Nov '17

Don't call the town..the town will call you..if you are worthy

Bug3
Nov '17

That's great Walking Girl,

you can email the mayor at: mayor@hackettstown.net and let her know what committee you would be interested in. Sorry I'm not sure if there are any openings right now. We had 2 for parking, and 1 current zoning board member resigned due to a new job just last week and we needed to quickly fill that as there is a zoning board meeting next week.

Obviously there are a lot of positions that expire at the end of the year.

If there are openings they are advertised on our town home page.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Jim L probably reached out to those who fit the "good ole boys" mold in this town.

sorry metsman, I'm still considered "new" to town compared to lifers so I don't know many good ole boys...

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Bug3 you looking to volunteer? or are you just looking to be a troll?

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Below is a link to the town roster. It shows members of various authorities, non departmental boards, and commissions. However I gather it is not updated on a regular basis. I also have seen a notice posted on the front page of Hackettstown.net website in the past looking for folks to fill these positions.

It sounds as if one is regularly engaged in the governing body the information is a bit more prevalent.

Perhaps Jim or anyone actually, can urge the Mayor to post the current or upcoming needs on the town site.

http://www.hackettstown.net/town-roster/


Why should someone h ave to email the mayor and ask if they have any openings?..The nomination process should transparent to the public..there should be equal opportunities for all town residents to apply for openings..and lastly out of towers should only be used as a last resort

Bug3
Nov '17

Hopefully the moderators will let this go thru please. We are down to one computer and my iPhone is being repaired.

I have served on the Parking Authority or over 10 yrs. Mayor Hines asked for volunteers at a Town Council meeting. I sent my resume' he interviewed me and appointed me. I believe we have changed the PA to a positive thing. We have made major improvements and donate a lot to the BID activities. Unfortunately we have been running out of volunteers. One moved away after retirement and one passed plus we were already short one. I have been at meetings where the Mayor asked if anyone was interested. I asked 3 people who I know have interest in town happenings but they declined. Its a pretty easy committee and we run pretty smoothly. We meet once a week and have 3 employees. Peter Paftinos being on the committee will NOT have anything to do with this building going up. We do not have any say in those kind of projects. AND if we did Bill Kuster is our chair and he is VERY knowledgeable in local government laws. He is a great Chair! For everyone to assume this will "make his projects get passed" you are truly wrong! One has nothing to do with the other. We just had another member appointed and he is from the Brewery store. His name has slipped my mine at the moment but its great we are now full with members.

I urge everyone to get involved in your government. It gives you a whole different outlook on what REALLY is going on behind the scenes.I enjoy it and I was the one that told Jum L. to step up stop complaining and volunteer. He did much to my surprise and is a great volunteer worker.

Christine Christine
Nov '17

Again when there is an opening it is listed on the town homepage. If you are interested Bug3 in volunteering you can email the mayor, meet with her and she will keep you in mind if any positions open up.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Yet, for the most part, what does being one member, on this specific committee, provide any leverage value or any other value whatsoever for the grand behind-the-scenes conspiracy.... What back can be scratched from this committee? "

thank you SD for bringing logic back to this.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Christine that's great you been on parking authority for 10 years. But why would you still be on the board with not being a resident or town or have a business in town. Wouldn't it make more sense for your position be left for a resident or business or property owner.

Roxxane
Nov '17

"Jim L probably reached out to those who fit the "good ole boys" mold in this town."

I can personally vouch for the fact the this is far from true when it comes to Jim L. We used to get in heated debates on HL, and butt heads often. To my surprise he did reach out to me once about the possibility of applying for a town position that was open in spite of our previous exchanges. Regrettably due to the fact I have my own business, and also sell Real Estate I Knew I just didn't have the time necessary to devote to position. Agree or disagree with Jim L. I would never question his integrity, and I back up his claim that he has reached out to others here.

Denis Denis
Nov '17

Listen, the man and his family are one of if not the largest tax payers in the town. His family has lived in the town longer than most of you people probably! If he sits on the board of the parking authority so be it! Half the time the mtgs are canceled for lack of attendance of the members anyway!! Just my thoughts!

Dadof3
Nov '17

A few points and definitely worth follow-up with the Mayor and others:

(1) It sounds like it's time to consider how positions are being posted. Other options to help get the word out?
(2) IMO it's definitely past time to discuss why we don't make being a town resident part of the requirements for all posts. It sounds like the primary reason positions are expanded to include property owners is because there are not enough people volunteering
(3) The appearance of impropriety on this project is partly because of the rumors about "back room" decisions/deals already made on this particular property. The appointment and closeness between members doesn't do much to inspire transparency & trust. The fact that this particular property owner's family may be paying a lot of taxes doesn't mean that the zoning and other rules should be changed for them to get their way. If anything that presents additional potential conflicts and questions.


It was just getting more interesting

Hillary
Nov '17

Nobody wants to participate.
They just want to sit in the mezzanine and throw stones.
Empty vessels make the most noise.

Stymie Stymie
Nov '17

I am a board member because I work in Hackettstown currently. I also volunteer on the BID Events committee! I like doing it and I still call Hackettstown my home. We are still pursuing moving back just waiting for the perfect place.

BTW Anyone can volunteer. All you people that sit behind your computer and make accusations should get out there and help. I said this many times on this Forum and only one person has taken me up on it. Want to know who it is? Jim L. AND I must say he is an asset to the town!

Dadof3 you are mistaken on your facts. Half the meetings are not cancelled because of lack of attendance. We have a good track record for holding our monthly meetings. I misspoke above we hold monthly meetings not weekly. Why don't you step up and volunteer!

Christine Christine
Nov '17

Who offered the position to Mr Paftinos? The mayor?

Scottso Scottso
Nov '17

Meeting Reminder:

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment will be held on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 7:00PM. This meeting is being relocated from the Municipal Building to the Trinity House, 212 E. Moore Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840.


That's bull. So we have to make a decision if our presence is more important at the school meeting or the Zoning Board Meeting?

Seenit
Nov '17

yea it's annoying that there are 2 important meetings tonight. The joint School board and the Zoning. The Zoning Board schedule is set way back in December 2016 for this year, would have been nice if the school board would have checked town schedules to make sure there was no conflict but I guess that is asking too much.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Jim,
I agree that the school board should have planned appropriately. As a tax payer in this town it is frustrating to have to choose. While yes, I can get the information after the fact, these are the types of meetings that physical presence is crucial.

Seenit
Nov '17

I'm in no way trying to influence which meeting people should be attend, just passing along info so people can make a decision on which meeting they feel would be better to attend.

The BOE meeting is being streamed live as well as will be available to watch at a later date while the zoning board is not tape. So if you are looking to get info, it would be better to attend the zoning and then watch the BOE

However, if you are looking to voice your opinion then the BOE will have public portion at tonight's meeting while the Zoning meeting will just have public portion to ask questions on the testimony heard tonight and depending on the length of the meeting there is no guarantee there will be time for that so it may be carried to next month's meeting. General public comments on the project as a whole will mostly be at future zoning meetings as I can't see this getting wrapped up in 1 meeting.

Annoying we have to choice as both are major meeting that effect us in different ways.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

I can't wait for the new Quick Chek to open! When at they starting. It will be great competition to the WAWA.

Convenience Lover Convenience Lover
Nov '17

Meeting started. Where are the concerned citizens?!

Walking Girl Walking Girl
Nov '17

Conflict of meetings. Hoping that Jim L was right & public statements will be at the next meeting.


"So we have to make a decision if our presence is more important at the school meeting or the Zoning Board Meeting?"


Sounds like SOP politics: divide & conquer.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Nov '17

I hope I’m right too Bonv as I went to the BOE meeting.

Jim L Jim L
Nov '17

My kid came home from school and changed all plans on me by vomiting everywhere. So I didn't make it to any meeting! By the time I got online to view the stream it was not working of course.
Jim, I appreciate your explanation and I do not feel as if you were trying to persuade one way or the other. It was your opinion based on the facts as you know them.
If it matters, I would have attended the BOE meeting as that will directly affect my family. Quick Check affects the town I love and hope to preserve but sometimes we are stuck with a choice that must be made.

Seenit
Nov '17

I also could not make either meeting - can anyone provide an update on the QC project?

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Nov '17

QC began it's presentation. Only two of their people spoke thus far. The first person was their real estate guy. He gave the history of the Quick Chek corporation, history here in town, Etc. Basically a cheerleader for the company. He stated how great they are on many levels. He discussed the daily operation and how it will not change much from the current site regarding deliveries et cetera, with the exception of adding fuel deliveries. Members of the board asked questions during his presentation. The public had an opportunity to ask questions of him at the end of his portion. The next person to speak was the project manager. He explained all aspects of the project from soup to nuts. He spoke for over 2 hours with the board asking questions during his presentation. While the public will be able to ask questions of him the time limit of 10:30 PM was reached therefore this portion will be carried to the next meeting, December 19th at the municipal building.
It appears the full project application is available for viewing at the Town Hall.


Thanks Greg. Luckily banking on the next meeting worked out.

Did either speaker cover the zoning variance from residential to commerical?


702 POWERS AND JURISDICTION OF THE ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
E. General Provisions
1. No variance or other relief may be granted by the Board unless such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the zone plan and the zoning provisions of this Ordinance. http://www.hackettstown.net/land-development-code/


Not yet. They discussed a few other design waivers they are looking for though. For example the height of some hedges, number of signs etc. The board did ask for certain elevations of the proposed barrier on the Washington street side. It was portrayed as a beautiful natural screen with over a hundred trees including various varieties. That is at street level. However all of the residents with a second story would clearly have a beautiful view of the entire site.How horrible. While there have been some changes in the site design in an effort to minimize the negative impact on the residential neighborhood, in my opinion it's the old- you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.

Clearly this presentation will and should take a few meetings to have the total project explained and all of the concerns and questions answered.

It is imperative that the public attend and takes notes in order to voice any questions and concerns. This is vital as I had some thoughts to share but will now need to wait. Without notes I may not recall all of the points I want to discuss. There is a ton of information to digest to say the least.


Thanks Greg. That's really helpful.


Sounds like the current tax code: complicate it so much it's too tiring to even try to keep up with, so everyone just goes along. Which was the goal anyway.

Blind and confuse them with details.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Nov '17

Thanks Greg, looks like I was right with what would be accomplished at last night's meeting and that time would run out before the members of the public got to ask questions. This is going to be a multiple meeting application as there is so much information to go over so I encourage those that were not able to attend last night's meeting to attend all future meetings. It may still be a couple of meetings before the public gets to voice their concerns to the Board but at each meeting they will be able to ask questions to the testimony they heard.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '17

Correct, Jim. Last night after each expert spoke the public had an opportunity to speak. As it turned out only one person "completed" his remarks. The public was asked for comments after he was done. After each expert gives their respective presentations the board then public will be able to speak.Otherwise if all public questions waited to the end, it would be difficult to jump around to all of the different subjects and keep thoughts straight. For example I could have several questions related to various experts testimony, and I'm just one person If just 4 people for example have several questions or concerns on several different aspects of the project it could take up a great deal of time. Waiting to the end for all public input would most likely limit the available time for the public to speak. That would not be serving in the best interest of the citizenry in my opinion. This current format work best for all.


Thanks Greg for the update - looking forward to attending the next meeting.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Nov '17

HACKETTSTOWN ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

215 Stiger Street
Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840

TO: ALL MEMBERS OF THE HACKETTSTOWN ZONING BOARD OF
ADJUSTMENT
RE: December 19, 2017 MEETING
The regularly scheduled meeting of the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment will
be held on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 7:00PM at the Township Municipal
Building, 215 Stiger Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840.
AGENDA
1. Call to Order
2. Sunshine Act
3. Roll Call
4. Pledge of Allegiance
5. Approval of minutes – September 19, 2017
6. Resolutions – #17-08, Peter J Rowland – Variance Application

Block 16, Lot 10

7. New Business
Case #16-05, Quick Chek Corp –Site Plan Application - Continuation

Block 122, Lots 8-12 &amp; 10.01

8. Adjournment

FORMAL ACTION MAY OR MAY NOT BE TAKEN

Darrin Darrin
Dec '17

No to Quickcheck!

Yes to the Methadone clinic and homeless shelter!

Really
Dec '17

So where will the homeless shelter be?

Bug3
Dec '17

The need for a clinic or similar center is very apparent. I'm not sure about a homeless shelter in our immediate area though.


Oh I have no delusions, the bulk of the space will be developed as commercial and ultimately I have no problem with that - good car wash which I hear is also in the mix, sure, not the best, but better than a gas station.

The property owner (and any potential business) could go see Jim at the BID and get the 'gap analysis' of retail/services/dining that we are short of. There is just no need for another gas station, especially in that area.

trekster3~ trekster3~
Dec '17

That's exactly right @trekster. The homes on Washington St are in need but ultimately it's not enough profit for the owner. Build something in the already zoned commercial area but leave the residential area alone.


I think I'll review the plans before the meeting tomorrow. I'm sure the experts plan on another long, dry presentation. Ugh.


Trekster are there plans for a carwash at the new quickchek or is the carwash planned for somewhere else?

There are 2 carwashes in the area already.

Hot Under the Collar
Dec '17

No plans for a car wash in the QC project, just some buzz that if the QC gets shot down a car wash is likely, just rumored. A good car wash would be nice - the one by Mama's never seems to be open when I want to get a wash and the one on 57 is good as a last resort. It's a shame the one by Mama's doesn't sell to someone who could run a good operation.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Dec '17

@trekster - it's not a rumor I heard it directly from the property owner at one of the earliest meetings. He thought residents would prefer the QC to the car wash since it would be noisier.


It boils down to the owner has to get something approved quickly as he did not expect the delays. He thought everyone would lie down and kiss his feet because of his status and his family status (as some have probably done past and present). He doesn't care about this town only about what he can make off this town.

animal lover animal lover
Dec '17

The owner of Zanes feels that car wash is worth in the seven figures. Insane.


"I'm sure the experts plan on another long, dry presentation. Ugh."

I often wonder if they drag out on purpose so that public has less time to speak and so that by the time public does speak nobody wants to listen.

They did it that way with CVS, often times making the public speak at the next month's meeting when everyone had forgotten what was talked about, and the experts would just say "I went over that" but with phase 2 of bergen tool, they shoved it right through in 2-3 meetings and basically said screw off there will be no other presentations when asked by the public. I specifically asked to have the drainage plan, which I had reviewed in the construction office explained, and they wouldn't give the time of the day and said the plans are available for review.

Darrin Darrin
Dec '17

I must say thus far the public is able to speak after each expert's testimony is complete. With that said though, the project engineer continued this meeting for just a short while. Luckily I had some notes to ask questions based on the bulk of his presentation from last month. But I am certain most folks did not recall the entire presentation to be able to engage in a meaningful manner.

A few positives discussed thus far are as follows.The sign on the south side of the building facing Bells Lane will be removed. Also, the monument sign will be moved 76 feet north on Mountain Ave to give a better line of site when exiting Bells lane. In addition this project did not include a PILOT application.

I did ask if the variance does not get granted would QC build just a convenience store. Naturally the answer was absolutely not. It's a super convenience store with fueling or arrivederci. The engineer did supply some elevations as it related to the homes on Washington Street and to the north of the site and the buffers. Basically in 6-8,or more years the growth will reach a level that the residents will not see the entire ground zero. Allegedly.

The sum and substance of the balance of the meeting was the QC traffic engineer explaining his data and impact this project may or may not have. An issue that came up is his study and analysis was based on DOT guidelines that have just been updated. Therefore the analysis needs to be adjusted using the new standards.The board also had a traffic engineer give testimony as well. The outcome was the town and QC traffic engineers will work closely as the State DOT application will only concern Mountain Ave. The town will be obliged to dictate needs or mitigation on Bells and Washington Streets as recommended by its engineer. Clearly this will all take quite a bit of time.

The next meeting will be 2/20/2018 at 7:00 PM


Greg,
What was the outcome of the variance application?

happiest girl
Dec '17

QC still has to complete its presentation. A few other experts need to speak. Lighting, and landscape engineers for example. Once the board and the public give input the decision can be rendered. The DOT application also needs to happen as well.

I should add, The applicant did receive the Highlands approval.


happiest girl - this is all part of the application process - they passed the historic hurdle, last night heard that they received highlands approval -- all of this testimony leads up to the application vote at some point in time, which includes the variance - next meeting in February has additional traffic testimony.

This meeting was very interesting - I did not have a question since the testimony with the experts and the other public questions seemed to have covered it all.

Unfortunately for all of the traffic study's the experts provide, the real-life implications will be felt by the local community. I will say I think Mr. Olivo (QC's traffic expert) did recognize that there is quite a bit of traffic that diverts to Bells Lane / Washington St.
I think that will get much higher, especially with so many people using Waze and other traffic apps, but no one can accurately predict that. I was surprised to see that there was some new DOT rules that were recently released and his analysis didn't reflect that, glad that our attorney (Mr. Thomas) requested it for the next meeting, since the DOT application by QC will have to adhere to it.

One thing that I think will happen is the amount of new traffic as a result of the QC will be higher than anticipated - I think people will go out of their way to come to this one, they do for the one in Independence Twp - they'll come to this one, no doubt. I think the Washington Ave / Little St / Bells Lane traffic will get much worse. Picture this - traffic coming down Washington (especially during peak times) taking a left on Little, right on Mountain, hit the QC, then right out of QC onto Mtn and a quick (ha ha) left onto Water Street. Even if they come Main to Mtn, stop at QC, right onto Mtn. left onto Water --- there will be back up to the light at 46 in that direction as well. Just my opinion, time will tell.

I, for one, have been known to go out of my why for a QC - with a kid in travel sports, I know where many of them are and they are a preferred destination for me (sorry Wawa), it's a great store. And before anyone goes all 'she's a Nimby' on me - I'd love one nearby, just think that's the wrong spot. For the amount of money they're spending on this spot they could have purchased the Salvation Army building and be done with it, I think that is a MUCH better location. --- Already a light, big enough lot already, relatively easy in and out and doesn't impact residential side roads. I know, likely not being sold, but seriously, Rite Aid likely would have taken a great offer and with the other one likely to be vacant in the next 18 months, that corner will be empty, but I digress.

No January meeting, next one in Feb as Greg mentioned. Please make sure to mark your calendars, was very discouraging to see so few public in attendance.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Dec '17

Has anyone questioned the impact of gasoline smells on the quality of life of the nearby residents?

Busy gas stations emit quite a bit of fumes in my opinion.

Darrin Darrin
Dec '17

No that is actually a very good point, Darrin. I'll note that.I'm sure we will hear all about the acceptable levels and approved vapor recovery systems. It's the real world scenario is what really matters.


Well, from experience, I can say I have been to many quick check gas stations, as well as other gas stations where you can smell the gas from a distance, so it's something I would be asking if I had the potential of being affected, especially considering the proximity to residential.

Secondly, also ask what measures would be taken if, even with a system in place, the residents still experience vapors. The key here is to get as much as possible on public record, and do not settle for a no-answer situation.

With CVS, I had notes of what agreements were made and at what meetings, CVS actually tried to claim they never said something, which they did, and I opra requested the meeting recording tape and I presented the tape to the town engineer, exact spot where they said what they claimed they did't (just for a for instance)

If you are interested I have a quick and easy legal email layout that you can just email to the construction office rather then filling out the long handed form if you want to request information, and I believe they have 7 business days (legally) to make the information available to you

Darrin Darrin
Dec '17

I agree trekster, less than 10 ppl from the public being at last night’s meeting was disappointing.

Jim L Jim L
Dec '17

"I did ask if the variance does not get granted would QC build just a convenience store. Naturally the answer was absolutely not"

QC is not building stand alone stores anymore, all new construction has gas stations. So yea if they don't get the variance waiver they will move on from the site.

Jim L. Jim L.
Dec '17

I do not understand how a gas station in middle of residents is just plain against our town's zoning code, seems like a sure way of pissing off residents to not protect them from such a occurrence.

Darrin Darrin
Dec '17

Maybe because mountain ave is a busy thouroghfare? In other words a state highway?..

Bug3
Dec '17

Given where we are, I think the question is, and has been, does H-town, as decided by our planners, want commercial in this area that is currently zoned residential. And, as a town --- WIFM? H-town has only so much residential; residential space will not grow, except vertically, and that's another story (that's a good one, right?). It is a fixed asset. Anytime H-town gives up residential, it's forever. Doubtful that much commercial land ever reverts back.

So, at the risk of being blunt...We have it, it's ours, if you want it, WIFM? I mean, why change if it does not make things better? Or is retaining the zoning and continuing the Same Old S...tuff (SOS) a good thing?

The push, IMO, is that it's at the edge between commercial and residential, it's not historic, and some of it is not in great shape. It would be nice if something happened to make things better, the what is the bugger. For residential, I sort of doubt you will see new single family there, so maybe some sort of cluster. Really can't just fix what's there, the land is too valuable for that to provide the expected return (I estimate) and some of these places might be too far gone. Cluster is probably the best you can ask for. So...is that better than a QC?

Obviously, QC likes it because it's a nice location on the cheap. Think: any of the other corners has commercial, heck -- they're gas stations, and, no doubt, would be much more expensive for QC to develop, even if available. And neither have the east-bound advantage of the QC location. Nope. Residential on the downturn would probably be far less expensive way to go for QC. So we will put a third gas station up and see which of the other two is first to go dark.

Or something else like a car wash (but still needs the variance and if QC can't get one.....)

So there you go ---- IMO--- Residential Cluster or the SOS, commercial QC or something else commercial? I think chances are SOS will not last. To me, what I would like to hear, is how QC will bend over backwards, and invest accordingly, to make this work next to our Hackettstown Historic District if we were to grant this variance to build this commercial concern basically in our historic district. WIFM and what are they doing to cross that hurdle of a residential and historic variance? Because that's what we are giving up. So what do we get? Better designed intersection? Berms? Landscaping? Public Parking? Day Worker Kiosk, Soundproofing walls? Historic look n feel? Anything? "Mood" lighting? Bueller. Bueller. Bueller.

I just hope that before the planning board bends over that they at least get something that will make them smile. Because right now, their constituency is wincing.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Dec '17

I just hope that before the planning board bends over that they at least get something that will make them smile. Because right now, their constituency is wincing.......I believe you mean zoning board, being they are the board hearing this case.

Richie
Dec '17

Actually I was asking about the variance application for the other item discussed that night - for block 16 lot 10.

happiest girl
Dec '17

Thank you Greg & trekster for the updates.

This has been going on for a year (Historical Society meeting in September or October 2016) so unfortunately I think participating at meetings is getting difficult for some ... I guess that's part of the strategy too.


The other one was approved I believe. They voted yes but did not read the resolution aloud as it was in their packets.


just a reminder that the Quick Chek application is on tonight's zoning board meeting's agenda.

7:30pm municipal building.

They needed to skip the January meeting so this is a continuation from the December 19th meeting.

Not sure how many more meeting it will last so if you were planning on attending and voicing your concerns/opinions I would try to make tonight's.

Jim L. Jim L.
Feb '18

Thanks for the reminder Jim!

trekster3~ trekster3~
Feb '18

Looking at my notes from the December meeting, the start time and location for this meeting was set at 7:00 PM at the municipal building. Perhaps it was changed to 7:30 PM at the January 16th meeting?


http://www.hackettstown.net/planning-zoning-boards/

Greg I’m going off the 2018 schedule that is on the website

Jim L Jim L
Feb '18

That's correct, I forgot the meeting for the 16th was the one moved to 7:00 PM. Short trip I'm back.


Any word on the meeting?

Bug3
Feb '18

To say I'm disappointed by the turnout is an understatement - there were maybe 5 townspeople there to hear the testimony on traffic and building design. Very sad that just because people lost the historic argument that they don't bother to listen to all of the testimony. And those that keep beating the 'historic' dead horse --- enough already --- there is nothing the zoning board can do about our swiss cheese historic guidelines. By badgering the architect and traffic experts on historic issues is not helping at all, in fact it's potentially hurting the validity of any other issues townspeople will have.

Quick Check and the zoning board have absolutely done their due diligence with traffic patterns,architecture, landscaping, etc. with QC providing very capable experts in all areas.

To that point, there are a LOT of things that I believe will NOT be an issue:

1) Traffic (vehicle and pedestrian)
2) Appearance (it'll be the prettiest QC ever)
3) Deliveries of goods and fuel (site plan makes deliveries no impact on the neighborhood)
4) General operations

On the other hand, as much as I love QC's and stop at them often - they are my 'go-to' when I'm traveling and I have been known to go out of my way to get to one, I still don't think it's a good fit for that particular location.

1) No amount of testimony can convince me that the fuel smells will not be an issue to the nearby homes.

2) No amount of testimony can convince me that the lights and noise will not be a negative impact in the quality of life of to the neighborhood homes.

3) No amount of testimony can convince me that we need another gas station in that vicinity, with 3 others within a mile.

The other potential issue is that we are jeopardizing the small-business franchise owners of the other gas stations to a big corporation. With all the in-town efforts to get people to 'shop-small' and support individual business owners, I'm surprised by some of the support for this project, knowing that 1 or more of the existing gas stations will lose enough customers, forcing them to close. I'm sure they have a plan for the inevitable empty gas stations.....

The next meeting scheduled for March 20th at 7:00 pm will likely be the LAST opportunity for the public to testify on the matter with the potential for the zoning board to vote on the application that night.

Take the time to prepare cohesive commentary and testimony with valid points and issues that the zoning board can legitimately take into consideration.

If you don't show up then, I really don't want to hear any complaints.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Feb '18

trekster, coulden't agree more with your points 1 & 2 , point three is a dead horse though, the town cannot say "no" just because we "feel" we do not need that there.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

So it sounds like a done deal

Bug3
Feb '18

IDK about that Bug, points 1 and 2 are very strong points....the question to ask is I understand you say there "wont" be gas smells, but what if there IS gas smells, will gas sales halt while quick check fixes the issue, or will they be allowed to continue and the neighbors just have to deal with it?

Because, guess what, if they say they wont halt gas sales, that will directly affect the well being of the neighbors, going against the requirement of a zoning change.

Protections like this need to be put in writing, or at the VERY LEAST on public record via conversation at the meeting (they are recorded)

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

I could not agree more with your thoughts, Trexter3. The experts have presented the project in the best possible light and answer all questions capably.

There will be an impact on the quality of life for the residents in that area- without question.The property values will decline. That area will never be the same and as mentioned before the practice of removing homes for commercial development could become common place here in town. Shameful in my opinion.

In addition the testimony from Sgt Tynan regarding the heavy pedestrian traffic in that area indicates the potential for issues with the addition of a super convenience store and fueling station at that location. Crosswalks were suggested on Mountain Ave as well as on Washington Street.

One item last night was the addition of left and right turning lanes at the end of Bells Lane onto Mountain Ave. The property owner of the current QC will deed land to the town in order to accommodate this.

The next meeting will most likely be the last chance for public input. Speak then or forever hold your peace.


"There will be an impact on the quality of life for the residents in that area- without question.The property values will decline. That area will never be the same and as mentioned before the practice of removing homes for commercial development could become common place here in town."

In this case, as long as the board agrees, it should be a NO.....to change a zoning designation, it cannot affect the surrounding properties correct?

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

Does anyone know (or care) what will happen with the property where the old QC is? Maybe, if this thing must go through (ugh!) they can be forced to do something "park like" or something that would add beauty to the corner, at least on that side?

Some consessions here would be nice.

Heidi Heidi
Feb '18

The current location is not owned by QC they state it is leased. The property owner could be a division owned by QC corporate however I'm not sure.The QC folks have indicated the property would be offered as another retail location. I would think that location would not be too difficult to lease unless there are restrictions placed on it.


I don't believe so Darrin. Those other property owners would need to come before the board to have a zoning change.

If it were to be approved I guess if I lived next to that location knowing the residential aspect of the neighborhood was going to be lost forever, I would look to change zoning as well. Heck let the pavement, commercial development, and degradation of the area bulldoze into the neighborhood like a tidal wave.


^

Your point is spot on with lost residential property values, look at the desirability of those surrounding houses now, and then induce the gas fumes, added traffic, noise, and a gas station in your front yard and tell me if those homes are as desirable as they used to be?

If the answer is a NO, then the project should be a NO given our town's guidelines.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

At 5 dissenters, no experts, I would say this project is a go! Sorry, but often you get what you ask for or, in this case, forget what to ask for.

Darrin has shown you what even one man, fully loaded for bear :>), can do. But look at his effort, his time, his emotions that he brought to bear. Without that kind of support from a large group of H-town citizens, you will not win.

I would gather QC is geared up now that they have blown away the town folk's opposition and see that the pressure is off.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

I strongly disagree....don't let anyone tell you it is a done deal until it really is.

When I started my CVS venture, everyone on this site told me not to bother, don;t even go to the meeting, it was a done deal.....well 3 years later with a meeting every month CVS was final built....but with a metric S*** TON of changes due to what I as well as other residents brought to light at that "what they thought" was the final meeting

SO NO, it's never a go until it is fully approved, do not let the feeling that it is going to be approved discourage you, fight till the end!

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

You guys should have gotten together and hired a land use attorney who could have pounded them on the "negative criteria" standard they have to meet for a d(1) use variance; i.e. that the variance can be granted without causing substantial detriment to the public good and won’t substantially impair the intent and purpose of the municipal zoning ordinance and municipal master plan.

If you just let them present their testimony in the most favorable light that they can, it's easier for the Board to rubber stamp it. But, if you get an attorney to cross-examine their witnesses and get them to admit the impacts to surrounding property owners on the record, then it's tougher for them to ignore.

Curious... does Htown have a dedicated traffic consultant on the Board or does that all fall on the Town Engineer to review?

ianimal ianimal
Feb '18

Sorry, it was for emphasis Darin and yes, you got it and share great info often, like now, on how much "emphasis" is needed. In my experience, not only is it not over BUT there are no rules.....just guidelines. Yet you do need to know the town rules; lucky JL seems to have a leg up on that one.

And Iman doubles down with the kind of power you might need for engineering "rules"....to budget.

Rule Number 1: when it gets easier for QC to go somewhere else than to stay here, they will not build it, they will not come.

It will take more than 5 people at a meeting even if you don't talk but just "ahem" And it will take a lot more work than just going to meetings. Best luck all.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

I agree Darrin, Stranger and ianimal.

Ianimal the board did have a traffic engineer come in and discuss the testimony of the QC traffic engineer, Mr. Olivo.


I will try my best to be at the next one, I really want to make a statement, I just can't afford the 4 hour meetings right now leaving the wife home with a new born.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

No boards, the “peoples” expert. Unfortunately to play with rhe big boys, the people may need hired gun talent.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Feb '18

Hired talent is the easy route. By properly educating yourself on laws and other facts one man can certainly stump a board as well as professionals.......it has been done before ;-)

It’s a long hard fight, but it is certainly possible, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

Once again I agree Dman, kind of. Yes, you can roll your own and as Iman and others have hinted: I believe we have some civil engineers on HL"staff" that might help. But, like you said, it's hard work, hard fight, and rolling your own is harder than getting a gunslinger and cost is cost, whether time or money.

Point is, it's a long hard fight, you have to really have the need and the fire in your belly to go through it, and there's an investment to be made.

And then while one man can make a difference, you really need a team, five at a meeting won't cut it, you need an organization, leaders, team, etc.

Darin, in your personal case, you had a huge need; protecting your investment. You put in an inordinate amount of time and emotion and sure, you made waves and had some success. But I don't think, based on that lovely CVS, that you won.

To beat QC on this one, IMO you will need a heck of a lot more support that this project has now. If one believes that a bunch of people showing up to a meeting with impendent uncoordinated strategies, questions, and comments, will win the day; it won't. And five people is far, far worse.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

"Point is, it's a long hard fight, you have to really have the need and the fire in your belly to go through it, and there's an investment to be made. "

that "long" fight is nearing its end. Based on where Tuesday's meeting ended I would guess GC will wrap up their testimony at March's meeting and then will look for a vote by the end of that meeting depending on how long the public comment portion lasts.

It's one thing to sign an online petition or put yard signs up. It's another thing to come to meetings and just not come but speak. Even with the large crowds at the historical meetings only a small percent of those in attendance got up and spoke.

Jim L. Jim L.
Feb '18

Reminder: Meeting is coming up next week.

If you plan on taking part in the Public Questions or Comments, please come prepared.

Have your Questions ready - make sure they are based on actual testimony, not your opinion (that's later) - If you have a question about anything in the actual Plan, this is your time. Be as specific as possible and try to refrain from ranting - this will annoy the board and possibly negate any valid questions/points you may be making. And PLEASE do not ask about Historic, that ship has sailed and your questions serve no purpose, other than waste everyone's time.

Have your Public Comments ready - Reminder there is a time limit (I think it's 2 min) It is helpful to the board and the board secretary if you have 10 copies of what you plan on saying so they can listen to you, but also have a copy to refer to when they go into closed session. THIS is where your opinion and commentary with any objections or support, including Historic has relevance. Clarity and fact-based commentary will be more likely to stick in the minds of the board, though impassioned words also carry weight. Just make sure you don't ramble or go too long.

If you want to check your time use this tool: http://www.speechinminutes.com/
Type up what you want to say in a document that has a word counter (Word and Google Docs both do it) - bear in mind that they might let you go slightly over and when you're not used to public speaking, you generally speak faster, so there might be some wiggle room.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Mar '18

" It is helpful to the board and the board secretary if you have 10 copies of what you plan on saying so they can listen to you, but also have a copy to refer to when they go into closed session"

There is no "closed session" so I'm not sure what you are referring to.

Jim L Jim L
Mar '18

Sorry Jim - Thanks for the correction - I thought they would go into closed session to deliberate without both the applicant and public potentially disrupting their deliberations --- great thing to have the transparency though!

trekster3~ trekster3~
Mar '18

TOWN OF HACKETTSTOWN
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

AGENDA

REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEETING

March 20, 2018

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Hackettstown Board of Adjustment will be held on
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Township Municipal Building, 215 Stiger Street,
Hackettstown, NJ 07840. NOTE CHANGE OF TIME
Adequate notice of this regular public meeting has been provided in accordance with the Open Public
Meetings Act by posting notice on bulletin board in the Municipal Building; publishing in the Daily Record
and New Jersey Herald official newspapers of the Town of Hackettstown on or about March 8, 2018, by
posting notice on the website of the Town of Hackettstown; filing said notice with the Town Clerk of
Hackettstown; as well as furnishing said notice to those persons requesting it pursuant to the Open Public
Meetings Act. As advertised, action may be taken at this meeting.

1. CALL TO ORDER
2. FLAG SALUTE
3. ROLL CALL
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – February 20, 2018 Regularly Scheduled Meeting
5. RESOLUTIONS
a. Carangui/Calle – Case #ZB 18-01 - Interpretation/Section 68
Block 51, Lot 8 411-413 Sharp Street
b. Barr – Case #ZB 18-02 Interpretation/Section 68
Block 62, Lot 3 315-317 Lafayette Street
6. OLD BUSINESS
a. Quick Chek Corp – Case #16-05 - Site Plan Application - Continuation
Block 122, Lots 8-12 &amp; 10.01
7. NEW BUSINESS
8. CORRESPONDENCE
9. ADJOURNMENT

Darrin Darrin
Mar '18

QC is pulling their application..... any truth to that???

twentytwenty
Mar '18

Uh...no

Bug3
Mar '18

Some of those slum buildings are an eyesore site for Mt. Avenue. Were any of those buildings cited for hazards, since I believe that owner was the slumlord landlord (from what I read) who got in trouble with the law? Am I correct?

best be torn down, it can only improve the area

Hackresident Hackresident
Mar '18

@2020 - they're still on the agenda and almost to the finish line so I couldn't imagine them pulling it.

@Hackresident - agreed they should've been cited but that doesn't mean it's in the best interest of the neighborhood & town to tear down for gas station.

@trekster3 - since this is a variance request to change from residential couldn't the questions be about this too?


re: variance - Bonv, if there is an actual question based strictly on town code (not historic) or on the testimony that's been given, absolutely - otherwise any opinion would be made in the Public Comments section.

trekster3~ trekster3~
Mar '18

". Were any of those buildings cited for hazards, since I believe that owner was the slumlord landlord (from what I read) who got in trouble with the law? Am I correct? "

Hackresident you already asked this question and it was answered on the wawa thread. The owner of the 5 homes is not the "slumlord" who got in trouble with the law"

Jim L Jim L
Mar '18

Sorry, I thought I read that in H. Life and also in an article connecting him w/ those houses.

Hackresident Hackresident
Mar '18

Just note the time change on the next meeting.....starts at 7pm

Darrin Darrin
Mar '18

Reminder: Tonight at 7:00 PM - may be the last chance to be heard.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Mar '18

FYI:

Due to the pending storm, please be advised the Zoning Board Meeting scheduled for tonight, March 20, 2018, has been cancelled.

All Agenda items are being carried to the April 17, 2018 Meeting, at 7:00 p.m.

Shannon Drylie
Planning & Zoning Board Clerk
Town of Hackettstown

Darrin Darrin
Mar '18

Thanks Darrin - I didn't see that posted anywhere

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Mar '18

Trekster, I am on the email list from the construction office and get direct email of agendas and notices.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '18

Where is this posted?

Walking Girl Walking Girl
Mar '18

It will be posted on the town website, Darrin is on an email chain that receives the notice so he got it sooner than it went on the town website. The person that runs our website has the notice and will post it as soon as he's able to.

Jim L Jim L
Mar '18

I just saw it on the website.

Richie
Mar '18

I'm really surprised and disappointed this was cancelled especially since I won't be able to make it on the rescheduled date. I hadn't realized that they were calling for bad weather conditions tonight.


Jim can you explain to me and probably others why Quickchek Corporate say they have the land and everything was approved. That they are only waiting for the DOT requirements (how many lights)? They are also promoting a 2020 completion date on it. I believe that the variance hasn't been granted yet and the meeting is not until April. Is this just hopeful boasting or is there more that nobody knows about?

animal lover animal lover
Mar '18

Animal lover, I'd like to read their position on the status of the project. They could state that they anticipate the rest of the approvals and a completion date of 2020 if approved, but nothing else.
To state otherwise is passive aggressive, and simply not true. To me they are exhibiting complete disregard for our town variance procedure and not dignifying our zoning board authority if they are boasting a done deal.
A variance has most definitely not been granted, nor should one be in this case.


Wow @animallover. That's really a shame and consistent with the boasting coming from the property owner for several months. It appears that the homeowners are getting completely screwed with back room deals.


It’s not “approved” until the zoning board says so....sounds like the April meeting is going to be the one to be at....see you there!

Darrin Darrin
Mar '18

I just noticed today the 3 houses adjacent to the empty lot. (that whole street) Shacks!! What an eye sore. Has anyone looked at the backs of those homes. There was a time years and years ago, when that part of town was one of the prettiest streets around. Who bought them, owns them, and let them turn into the slum looking garbage they are. What a shame.

auntiel auntiel
Mar '18

It is a shame, auntiel. All part of the plan I'm sure.


@Greg, you're absolutely right especially since that has been a proven pattern already.

@Darin, you would hope but the rumors have been pretty on point for a while now. Unfortunately I'll be away but I'll keep my fingers crossed for great turnout & hopefully an extension into May.


Well there is two ways to look at it.....

Is it “part of the plan”

Or....is it because you are “planning” on tearing it down anyways....so why put money into it?

Darrin Darrin
Mar '18

“Jim can you explain to me and probably others why Quickchek Corporate say they have the land and everything was approved”

No I can’t expalin that to you as I have no idea what you are talking about. Please provide where this stated.

Jim L Jim L
Mar '18

The source said it is at QuickChek Corporate office (this person attends meetings there). I have tried to explain to the individual that it is not a done deal and each time have been told it will happen because QuickChek always wins and gets their way even if it takes years. Thank you Greg, I agree with you 100%.

As to the condition of the houses, I believe the condition is all part of the plan. I know for a fact doors are left open to the houses on more than one occasion which potentially allows vandalism or other activity. I believe the ok has been given to tear them down provided a replacement plan gets approved. The houses are being stripped down already (electric boxes removed, oil tanks, trees, fences, and etc.)

There has been nothing done to those house to keep them in better condition since this has been the current owners plan for many years now.

I'm sure if people ask in QuickChek they will get a variety of answers from their employees as everyone has their own opinion as well as what they have been told.

On a personal note, I have been told by the gas station that the deal was done as they were told by the company that is supposedly contracted to doing the removal of the houses or something along those lines.

So again how else can one not believe that we have a losing battle going on. Is this their plan to discourage people from attending and fighting this because it will get approval? If everyone keeps hearing it is approved, even if it isn't true, do you think that they won't say figures and not show up to fight it? I realize there are procedures that will be followed and appreciate that, but again politics, money, the threats of lawsuit, and community status weigh heavy when changes occur.

animal lover animal lover
Mar '18

Sorry but your post made no sense. Someone that attends the meeting told you that inside QC Corp they are saying it’s already approved and they own the land??? How would your source know that???

Jim L Jim L
Mar '18

They work for Quickchek and attend their managerial meetings. Sorry if that was confusing.

animal lover animal lover
Mar '18

So why did you call Me out to explain that to you? How am I supposed to know why your source is telling you the inside Corp they are saying it’s a done deal??

I try to present facts on this thread not rumors.

Jim L Jim L
Mar '18

I did not mean to call you out as such, you are always very good at explaining procedures and are very good at interpretation to what happens at these meetings. You care and I figured if anyone could come up with an explanation or interpretation you could...Sorry if I offended you that was not my intention. I believe in everything you have done for this town has and is always in the best intention.

animal lover animal lover
Mar '18

Excavation trucks are rolling into the proposed WaWa lot.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
Mar '18

Friendly reminder tomorrow night is the next Zoning Board meeting. 7pm start, municipal building.

Probably the last meeting regarding QC

Jim L Jim L
Apr '18

A sad day in Hackettstown.

Conditional approval.


The Zoning Board has no guts. Zero leadership from the Chairperson. The Lawyer should not be on the dais running the meeting. The Board is stuffed with the Mayor's acolytes.

The fix was in from day 1 - townsfolk never had a prayer. If you want to blame someone, vote out the Mayor.

Red Grange
Apr '18

The Mayor? Hackettstown chose a republican mayor. Why would they expect her to do anything but fight for the businesspeople? If you don't want your mayor to be pro-business, and want them to instead cater to individuals, vote in a democrat. Elections have consequences - some we are happy with, some we aren't. But them's the breaks.

DevilsFan1 DevilsFan1
Apr '18

Face it, the people were not prepared, were not galvanized, and most important, were not organized. Of course, the big guys rolled all over the people just as they rolled over the planners.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

Was there a point of law that wasn’t properly addressed?

Fact is you can’t go around telling people what they can or can’t do based on the feeling of the day, there needs to be legitimate reasons other than “because I don’t like it”.

justintime justintime
Apr '18

Our town Engineer and Planner did a great job working with the applicant and the Highlands in designing a site that if approved was the best possible layout. Multiple design changes were requested by them and were made by the applicant. The berm around the site was expanded both in thickness and in height. There will be a rain garden on site to help with storm water management and Bell's Lane will be widen to help with turn lanes. They were in no way rolled over and to suggest so is irresponsible.

Yes There were flaws with our Historical Ordinance that were exposed and we as a town will address those, but those flaws only impacted the fate of the 5 homes and their historical impact to the town. It did not impact the decision to allow or not allow the D1 variance request the applicant was looking for to put a commercial use in a R -125 zone ( the 2 homes on Washington)

The zoning board had a legal right to deny the D1 variance if they chose to. In the end the decided unanimously that the impact to the surrounding area was minimal. Time will tell if they are right.

Jim L Jim L
Apr '18

As I recall I did a write in for the mayor's election last year as she ran unopposed. It would be good to see some legitimate competition. As an Independent I've been voting against incumbents for 20 years but I seem to be in the minority.

Denis Denis
Apr '18

"Time has already told" the excess traffic that clogs Main St./517/Mountain Ave. from years of sprawl, so I don't think anyone needs a psychic to predict more jamming up from the bigger Quik Chek with fuel station at that location. That's pretty much the only important point here to me, as a livable and enjoyable town is one that has smart and sustainable development that mitigates congestion and creates more progressive, pedestrian friendly infrastructure and reasons for people to shop and support downtown.
We just don't need any more unnecessary development. (especially in already crowded spots, especially when there are empty strip malls).

kepa
Apr '18

The one thing I learned from this entire process is that virtually every zoning ordinance in every town is in jeopardy due to lawyers --- all of the exceptions and variances had a legal precedent for them, the zoning board had really no choice but to vote it in.

I am disappointed that the property owner clearly went for the big bucks without any concern about what would be truly beneficial to the town in general, but also that neighborhood in particular. With the 50+ gas pumps already within a mile of the site and numerous retail locations, we clearly do not have a need for this Quick Chek. With the many projects his family has done that have been appropriate (and made them plenty of money), it's quite a sad turn.

Frankly I'm convinced that if I had a good enough lawyer, I could conceivably tear down my historic home and build a modern monstrosity in its place unchallenged. Sure pay a fine or two, but really there is nothing in the town code to legally prevent it.

I don't know if it's a function of any vagueness in our ordinances or the true power of corporate attorneys, I just know that this was pretty much a done deal from the beginning as the board truly had no choice --- or face a lawsuit from Quick Check.

I'm glad I attended the meetings and was part of the process but ultimately I'm hoping that this experience creates an environment where people get involved.

Jim L. you know where to find me, if there's anything I can do to help.

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Apr '18

I do find it strange that even with a clear cut code on the books that zoning is not to be changed if impacts will be detrimental to the surrounding properties the board still approved this without a single "NO" vote.

Multiple property owners in close proximity to the site testified how this would or could detrimentally affect their way of life and apparently it fell on deaf ears.

BUT...with that being said...I can see how much this plan has evolved and how involved our town engineer was with making sure the surrounding neighbors would be as minimally impacted as possible.

It all falls down to this was the final meeting......the first few meetings they had to book a larger space for because there was not even standing room....at this final meeting there was ~10-15 empty seats....

Yes at this meeting public spoke very well...but the brass tax is that only 5-6 property owners spoke......what ever happened to the 60+ people that all came to the initial meetings???

If you are not in it for the long haul...you WILL loose.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

"The one thing I learned from this entire process is that virtually every zoning ordinance in every town is in jeopardy due to lawyers --- all of the exceptions and variances had a legal precedent for them, the zoning board had really no choice but to vote it in. "

Sorry Trekster but that premise is just not true. D1 variances are strong. The board could have easily found reason to vote against it and if sued could have won their case. Threats of lawsuits are common but that is why town's have insurance. To say this was a done deal from day one is wrong. The fact is the applicant did a good job arguing their case, can you say the same for the public?

In my opinion the public picked the wrong battle to fight. Many came out to fight the historical significance of the 5 homes and then basically gave up once they lost that fight. They were going to lose that fight, the homes had no historical significance other than their age. They were beat up and their features have been changed so much over time that there was nothing original about them.

The real fight and the one the public had the best chance to win was the D1 variance request to allow commercial use in a Residential zone, the 2 homes on Washington. The ones on Mountain were already in a commercial zone and had every right to come down and have something commercial go there. The 2 homes on Washington was the real fight. But as you saw hardly anyone from the public attended those meetings. 5 maybe 8 residents total? The ones that attended did a good job stating their case but the numbers were nothing compared to those that came to the historical meetings.

Jim L Jim L
Apr '18

Agreed Jim, maybe my negativity was getting the best of me --- the lack of public presence at the last meeting was astonishing - everyone just gave up....

~trekster3 ~trekster3
Apr '18

I'm not sure everyone gave up @trekster3 but unfortunately that's what happens with a year long process and ultimately what QC and the owner were banking on. I personally was travelling and am furious that the meeting was cancelled last month when there was no snow on the ground.

As to the process, sorry but it exposed that this was political from the get go. The homeowner has been allowed time and time again to trash historical properties and has now exposed that the historical ordinance is useless. It's also great to see that the Zoning Board has no regard for long term taxpayers who happen to be near the proposed building and finds that the impact to them is worth another business that will cause the closure of at least 1 gas station up the road and cause significant traffic overflow through several neighborhoods not just Washington St.

Ultimately, the Zoning Board sacrificed the integrity of the town even further and could have followed the ordinance and kept Washington St residential. I've been hearing for over a year that the deal was already agreed to behind doors and the decision proves that the rumors were spot on.


I'd call the Real Estate Agent cause that thing is getting built..


I love politics. As I write this, I'm listening to the candidates for town council on WRNJ. The candidates are making polar opposite statements regarding the approval of the site plan for the QC project. For a person who is not familiar with the current disposition of that project listening today would certainly be confused as to what the facts are. As one candidate has repeatedly stated both this morning on the radio and on this forum, to learn the accurate facts attend the meetings.


Greg I was completely shocked by the dems on this topic. Anyone who attended meeting s or even followed this thread would have know that the site plan for QC was approved by zoning earlier this year. QC does not have to go before land use board for their site plan now. They asked to do the site plan and variance together in 1 application and that was all handled by zoning.

I believe you and I were sitting next to each other at the meeting when zoning approved the site plan.

It’s embarrassing that 2 ppl running for town council would not know that and if they are going around telling local residents that the site plan has not been approved yet and they will fight to stop it than that is misleading and pathetic

Jim L Jim L
Oct '18

I was a bit surprised to say the least. I had a similar conversation with them when they were campaigning door to door last month. I would have assumed the accurate information would have been sought out and understood by now.

There are other issues and concerns to campaign on. While clearly folks are still passionate about that particular project, it's time to accept it and move on in my opinion.


Gee the Dems are sneaky even at the local level...

Metsman Metsman
Oct '18

I tend to give people the benefit of doubt so I want to chalk this up to them being clueless rather than sneaky

That being said if you are running for town council and QC seems to be your major issue one would assume you would know the facts

The site plan was approved at the April 17th zoning meeting with the resolution approved at the May 15th zoning meeting.

All Info is online on the town website and the site plan has been at town hall for almost a year now so to say there is no site plan yet is amazingly wrong

Jim L Jim L
Oct '18

That's even better. So lets vote for clueless candidates. LOL... Kind of like Pelosi every time she opens her mouth...

Metsman Metsman
Oct '18

I really don't get it, I have pointed out the minutes of the meeting where the site plan has been approved by the Zoning Board. (4/17/18 meeting) yet the 2 Dem candidates are still arguing that the plan has not been approved.

Please if they show up to your door and tell you the site plan has not been approved and if elected they will stop the Quick Chek from going in please don't believe that. Let's try to have some honesty in our local elections at least.,

Jim L Jim L
Oct '18

Who are the candidates?

Bug3
Oct '18

Jim the are speading fake news.
Trump was right and i didn't need a Russian bot to tell me that.


Ok so an update on the QC project. As discussed at last night's public Land Use meeting the DOT has presented their recommendation and requirements to QC. They did not require or recommend a traffic light at that intersection. Their only requirement is there be no left turn out of QC back onto Mountain Ave. So it is now up to QC to accept that requirement or go back to the DOT and argue for it. If they accept that requirement then they will begin construction in the Spring, if they argue it then it will get drawn out even longer.

So to recap, there will be no more public meeting in town and no more votes, so if anyone is going around telling you the issue is not over and they will fight to stop it, please know that is not accurate information.

Jim L Jim L
Oct '19

When every other business can make a left turn on mountain ave...putting a sign at the quick chek saying no left turns will accomplish nothing

Bug3
Oct '19

My guess is that they'll do what they did at Wawa and make a concrete barrier so a left turn is impossible.

Dancicus Fighticus Dancicus Fighticus
Oct '19

It had better be better than the one at WaWa. People always make a left out of there because the barrier is so low and not well defined. They ignore the sign. HPD could make a fortune there some mornings.


I like to wrong the one at Hastings Square. Better than running the stop at Beatty/Valentine.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Oct '19

Okay so no left turn out of QuickChek but water st will continue to have a left and right turn. That intersection is busy and dangerous as it is. I’m just thinking off all the accidents and pedestrian safety. They need a light. Come on. If they’re gonna do it then do it right.

Danger Danger
Oct '19

You may be danger, but I am stranger.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Oct '19

Any word on when construction will start?


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