The last time a national chain was approved in River Edge was several years ago for the Kinderkamack Road and Midland Avenue intersection On Thursday night, the Planning Board unanimously approved a 7-Eleven application for 584 Kinderkamack Road near Van Buren Avenue with eight members in favor of the project. Board members Vito Acquafredda and Neil Doornheim were absent from the hearing.
The 2400-square foot building calls for 1300-square feet of retail space and 1100-square feet of storage/utility space. The convenience store was initially approved in 2007 but was modified recently to fit the 7-Eleven standard and resubmitted.
"It's a 60-by-40 foot building, approximately 18.5 feet high with 13 parking spaces," application attorney Jack Van Horn said. "We feel this would upgrade the site which now houses an abandoned building and replace it with the top of the line 7 Eleven 'executive' storefront."
7-Eleven would feature a brick and stucco siding with two upper towers on either side of the front banded logo. It would be set back from Kinderkamack Road an additional 10 to 15 feet and customers could only enter or exit onto Kinderkamack Road. A separate exitway onto Van Buren Avenue will be reserved for delivery truck use only.
"There will be extensive landscaping along the rear retaining wall to enhance the look of the site," project engineer Harry Tuvell said. "Catch basins, inlets and a detention system will be installed to collect any water runoff before it enters the municipal system."
One contention the Planning Board had through related to the standard 7 Eleven hours of operation. Most 7-Eleven convenience stores are open 24 hours but the borough's ordinance does not explicitly deny that option.
The ordinance requires at least two employees to be on site between 11pm and 5am for a business to remain open for 24 hours and precedence already exists as both the and operate on a 24-hour schedule.
According to traffic engineer Louis Luglio, the site would see an estimated 68 trips during the morning peak hour (7:45 to 8:45am) and 52 vehicles in the evening (5:15 to 6:15pm), but that overall the majority of customers would already be driving past 7 Eleven before stopping in.
Currently there is no prohibition on vehicles making a left turn into or out of the site on Kinderkamack Road as the application is still waiting final approval from Bergen County. Van Horn stated that if the County requires a "No Left Turn" at 7-Eleven, the application will comply and provide additional signage.
The property which is owned by the Guerra family who also runs the nearby , will include the borough's Kinderkamack Road streetscape along both properties beginning from Van Buren Avenue up to the Service Center.
A proposed monument sign near the corner of Van Buren Avenue and Kinderkamack Road was removed from the application prior to final approval although Van Horn and the Guerra's may return at a later date to seek a variance to allow it. The Guerra's requested time to confer with 7 Eleven about minimizing the sign down from the chain's requested 11-foot height.