Sunoco Withdraws Plan for 24-Hour Convenience Store

Neighbor complaints force oil company to go back to the drawing board

Sometimes the little guys can win.

Sunoco has withdrawn its application to convert its gas station at the intersection of Country Club Road and Route 28 to a 24-hour combination convenience store and gas station.

The application drew fierce opposition from residents on the Bridgewater and Raritan border who feared that a 24-hour convenience store would disrupt their neighborhood. They made their objections at a June meeting of the Zoning Board of Adjustment when they questioned Sunoco and its representatives.

In a letter to neighboring property owners last week, Timothy Prime, attorney for Sunoco, said the company has decided to withdraw its application and develop a new plan.

Prime said Sunoco will propose more limited hours of operation, a smaller convenience store, a smaller free-standing sign and a larger rear-yard buffer.

The application on the 24-hour store was scheduled to continue on Aug. 6, but the revised plans are still being developed and yet to be submitted to the township, Prime said.

The neighbors said the $2.1 million proposal by Sunoco to convert the gas station to an 24-hour, 365-day A1Plus store would adversely affect the quality of their life.

More than 100 residents signed a petition opposed to the plan that was circulated by Country Club Road resident Gary Casagrande, who also started a web site: http://stopsunoco.com/ .

The residents focused not only on potential security issues with the 24-hour operation but also increased traffic at the already busy intersection and the intensity of the development.

Though Sunoco required a use variance to open a convenience store, Bridgewater does not have an ordinance that would prohibit the business from operating 24 hours a day. The gas station has been at the intersection for more than four decades.
Julian Rinaldi July 29, 2013 at 02:24 PM
They should have gotten the variance using their current business hours, and then changed it to 24 hours. A 24 hour store doesn't equal increased traffic and more crime.


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