The fate of a proposed 7-Eleven at 63 E. Main St. will have to wait for 2012.
The Freehold Borough Planning Board did not vote on a resolution denying the application by HRS Investments during a meeting at on Wednesday. , the governing body voted 6-2 authorized its attorney, F. Patrick Accisano, to draft the negative resolution.
“Since then [Mark] Williams, the attorney for the applicant, has provided us with some correspondences that propose changes that the applicant hopes will persuade board members to grant the application,” Accisano said.
While the board did not discuss the letters provided by the applicant during the session upon Accisano’s advice, they are public record and were obtained by Freehold Patch. A Dec. 19 letter from Williams outlines proposed traffic control measures in response to concerns raised at the Dec. 14 meeting about pedestrian safety and access for the in the event of a traffic bottleneck. These measures include yellow striping down the center of Spring Street leading to East Main Street to allow passage of emergency vehicles, pedestrian crossing signs, and “Don’t Block the Box” pavement markings and signage in front of the Freehold First Aid & Emergency Squad driveway.
“We believe that these improvements to the site design will not only address the Board’s safety concerns, but actually improve the situation of the First Aid Squad by giving them a dedicated emergency lane,” Williams said in the letter.
Accisano polled the board to determine whether or not the correspondence could potentially impact their opinion on the project.
The board split 4-4 during the informal vote. Planning Board President Kevin Mulligan and board members Marjorie Goetz, Gary Jackson, Robert Oakes indicated they were still inclined to deny the application. Planning Board Vice Chairwoman Danielle Sims and member Adam Reich said they were still inclined to vote in favor of the project. Sims and Reich were joined by board member Lillie Hendry, who had previously voted in favor of allowing Accisano to draft the negative resolution, and alternate board member William Barricelli, who sat on the board in Councilman George Schnurr’s absence.
Alternate board member Kevin Asadi was unable to weigh in because he had not listened to the audio from the Dec. 14 meeting.
The informal vote will be taken again during the Planning Board’s Jan. 25, 2011 meeting. However, the makeup on the board will change in the New Year: Hendry will be stepping down after 21 years on the governing body and Goetz and Reich’s seats are up for reappointment during the Freehold Borough Council 2012 reorganization meeting on Monday, Jan. 2 at 1 p.m. at Borough Hall.
If a majority of the Planning Board indicates they are inclined to deny the application during the Jan. 25 meeting, the governing body will then vote on the negative resolution, Accisano said. However, if a majority of the board indicates its approval of the application in light of the recent correspondence, the hearing on the 7-Eleven project will reopen to hear testimony on the letters and allow the public to comment, according to Accisano. In that instance, the board will give public notice of the date and time the hearing will resume, Accisano said.