2001-01-24 / Front Page

Route 130 car wash variance is rejected

Staff Writer
By dave goldberg

NORTH BRUNSWICK — The North Brunswick Zoning Board voted unanimously against the Route 130 Deluxe Car Wash last Thursday.

"The positives provided by this car wash do not outweigh the detriments of application, so I recommend that the variance be turned down," said Zoning Board Chairman, Glenn Meltzer.

Meltzer said that this was the fourth time the application had been presented to the board.

The Route 130 Deluxe Car Wash application had originally been heard by the board at an October meeting and was tabled pending additional information on traffic and environmental impacts.

The proposed car wash was to include a 100-by-40-foot car wash tunnel, as well as a 50-by-19-foot car detailing facility, which was to be located on Route 130 north between Washington Place and Old George’s Road.

Meltzer said that granting the car wash variance would require a "super majority" vote. This means that the car wash would have to receive at least five out of the seven votes to be accepted. The reason the development needed such a large vote is because the applicant is requesting a use variance.

That variance would have changed the present commercial zone to allow the facility.

The zone now allows restaurants, convenience stores, drive-up banks, apparel stores, and offices.

At prior meetings, several residents, board members and the township’s traffic expert, expressed concern about the dangers involved if patrons’ cars were to back up onto the shoulder of Route 130 while waiting to enter the business.

Meltzer said that he weighed the negatives and positives of the variance in making his decision.

Meltzer said on the positive side, it was recognized the car wash is being operated and looked after by a hands-on owner.

In addition, Meltzer said the applicant has chosen muted colors on the building so that it would blend with the surrounding area. The applicant has also planned to preserve the wooden area behind the car wash and was willing to put up a buffer that would be neighborhood friendly.

Finally, Meltzer said that if the application passed, it would eliminate an existing drainage problem.

Meltzer said on the negative side, there was much concern about cars backing up onto Route 130. In addition, Meltzer said the vehicles at the car wash can retain up to a gallon of water on the chassis.

This could bring excess water onto Route 130 and could cause severe icing problems on a cold night. The tire shine material could also cause cars to slide.

Meltzer also worried that the exhaust fumes could be a problem for many people in the community.

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