Votes by the township planning board to deny – as well as approve – an application by Roy Rogers to build a restaurant on Brick Boulevard both ended in ties Wednesday night.
That means while the restaurant chain's application was not technically denied, it was not approved either, and therefore it cannot be built.
Roy Rogers altered its original plan for the proposed site, at the northwest corner of Brick Boulevard and Molly Lane, to reduce the size of the restaurant to 2,000 square feet from 3,000 square feet, redesign its drive-through and add parking spaces and a bike rack.
Harvey York, the attorney for Roy Rogers, also said the company would agree to modify its drainage plan so, in the event of a 100 year storm, water flowed into existing drainage on Brick Boulevard rather than to an adjacent lot.
The company also asked the board to approve a small number of minor setback and lot coverage variances.
Residents of a nearby senior citizen development formally opposed the plan, and were being represented by attorney Ron Gasiorowski of Red Bank.
"I am advocating that you comply with your ordinances," Gasiorowski told board members, urging them to reject the application due to the variances required.
Some board members were not satisfied with the restaurant chain's plans, even after they were revised.
Board member Joseph Marra said he was unsatisfied with the overall plan for the lot, which would also include two retail stores.
"I'm not opposed to a Roy Rogers being there," he said, but a free-standing restaurant without the extra retail space would be better.
Board member Skott Burkland said the restaurant chain's argument that variances should be granted due to a hardship presented by the lot itself was not valid.
"In my opinion, this is a self-created hardship," he said. "I don't think this passes the test of good planning."
Board member James Coakley disagreed, however.
"I think that we were presented with a very challenging application in a challenging location in our town," he said. "I think they did take some good planning measures in this revised plan, and I was happy to see what they came back with because they came up with a very functioning development in a very challenging area of town."
Motions to deny and approve the agreement, taken in that order, both ended in 4-4 ties.
While the restaurant cannot be constructed since its application was not approved, a window for a new application by the chain may have been opened.