Mahwah December 2, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 3 Pilot application gains zoning board approval by Frank J. McMahon The Mahwah Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved Pilot’s plan to renovate and expand its truck stop on Route 17 South into a service station for fueling trucks and automobiles. The 6 to 1 vote followed a four-hour review and discussion of the issues involved in the application and the conditions Pilot will be required to meet. The majority of the board, with board member Barbara Neumann casting the only negative vote, approved a conditional use variance, a fence height variance, and a setback variance for a sign that will be moved closer to Route 17 for better visibility, several waivers, a soil moving application, and the site plan for the truck and automobile fueling station. The conditional use variance will permit Pilot to change the use of its site from a truck stop to a service station even though a township ordinance does not permit service stations within 500 feet of a school property and the high school athletic field is located across Ridge Road from the Pilot site. The fence height and setback variances were requested by the board during the 17 months of public hearings. The approval includes a multitude of conditions that will be enumerated in a resolution that must be approved and published by the board within 55 days after which the opponents of the plan have 45 days to file an appeal in Superior Court. The board majority agreed that the proposed use would still be appropriate for the site even though it is within 500 feet of school property in violation of a township ordinance; that it can accommodate any problems such as air quality, noise, and traffic associated with the use; that it did not pose any substantial detriment to the public good; and that the character of the neighborhood would not be substantively impacted by the use. Neumann disagreed, saying, “The site is not suitable for diesel and gasoline service. We will see an increase in traffic. It is not believable that we will not see an increase in traffic and I worry about the mixing of cars and trucks. There are too many points where cars and trucks come into contact. There are lots of points of conflict and because we don’t know what that might bring I don’t think it is appropriate.” Pilot Vice President of Development Bill Mulligan voiced satisfaction with the board’s decision, saying, “The Pilot Corporation is very happy with the decision of the zoning board. It was always about improving the site: making it safer, cleaner and better for Mahwah, and we are glad to have the board’s support for Pilot’s vision for the site.” Mulligan emphasized that Pilot’s planned development will eliminate the existing (continued on page 11) Do you believe in magic? Students at the Lenape Meadows School in Mahwah recently attended an Illusion Maker assembly, sponsored by the Mahwah Department of Public Works. Magic occurred before their eyes as they also learned about the importance of recycling. Pictured: Mrs. Muscarelle’s first grade class after the assembly.