Mahwah September 16, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 7 Pilot hearing will continue at special session by Frank J. McMahon Following an eight-hour meeting on Aug. 26, the Mahwah Zoning Board of Adjustment carried the public hearing on the Pilot Corporation’s application to a special session scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23. At that time, the board will continue to hear testimony about Pilot’s plan to renovate its site on the southbound side of Route 17. During the marathon meeting, the zoning board heard additional testimony from William Hamilton, Pilot’s landscape architect, and from Pilot’s professional engineer Glenn Phillips. Hamilton previously testified about a landscaping plan for the site, especially along Ridge Road. Brook Crossan, an air quality expert hired by Paks Fast Service Inc., which owns the Valero Service Station located north of the Pilot Truck Stop, and faces more competition if the Pilot plan is approved, provided additional testimony on air quality. Pilot’s attorney, James Lott, also cross examined Crossan on his previous testimony that the emissions of benzene at the Pilot site currently exceed the state’s health impact benchmark standard and will exceed that level if the site is renovated and rebuilt. Pak’s professional planner then began his testimony, which will continue Sept. 23. The public hearing on this application has been underway since August 2008. The issue before the board is Pilot’s plan to completely renovate its current 4.5-acre truck stop on Route 17 just south of the West Ramapo Avenue overpass. Pilot, which has a long term lease on the property, plans to upgrade the site from an overnight parking truck stop to a separated gasoline and diesel fuel service station for motor vehicles and trucks with a new 4,200 square foot convenience store. The plan eliminates overnight truck parking and rooming facilities for truckers, and the truck weight scale. It also reduces the available truck parking spaces from 85 to eight, and prohibits overnight truck parking. In addition, if the Pilot plan is approved, the Ridge Road access to the site, where several local schools are located, would be closed, and that property line would be landscaped and fenced. Last May, the Mahwah Board of Education passed a resolution that “strongly encourages” the closing of vehicular and pedestrian access to the Pilot truck stop from Ridge Road. But the resolution also recognized that additional concerns have been raised regarding the proposed expansion of the Pilot site, which could be detrimental to the health and welfare of the students and staff of the Mahwah public schools. The school board expressed its trust that the board of adjustment would take those concerns under consideration when making a decision on Pilot’s application. Several residents have hired an attorney to voice their objections to Pilot’s latest plans. Those objections include a potential increase in truck and motor vehicle traffic at the site and its effect on the air quality in the area of the schools, and a potential negative impact on the township’s aquifer. Other residents have expressed the view that the renovation of the site will replace an old overcrowded truck stop with a new service station and convenience store and that the property needs to be updated. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection conducted an air quality test at the request of some objectors to Pilot’s previous application that was denied by the township’s planning board and found there was no violation of air standards in the area. An environmental expert for Pilot has also told the zoning board that Pilot’s proposal would allow a cleanup of any contaminated soil at the site, and it would permit the installation of new storm water management features to improve the quality of the water that drains from the site. Pilot previously presented applications to renovate its truck stop to both the zoning and planning boards, and they were denied with Paks Fast Service and some residents voicing objections to both of those plans, which maintained the truck stop character of the site. The current plan would change the site from a truck stop to a fuel service station for trucks and motor vehicles. Celebrate Mahwah Day September 26, 2009 Publication Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 Reservation Deadline: Friday, September 11 Call Joan at The Villadom TIMES today. We are Fit ���������������������������� ��������������� ������������ The Villadom TIMES will be publishing a special section featuring Mahwah’s Fall celebration. Join other businesses in advertising your products and services while promoting this special day. Don’t miss the opportunity to show local consumers what you have to offer! � Waltz Right Into Gibling’s… Dance Right Out! DANCE HEADQUARTERS Pink & Black Ballet • Pink & Black Split Sole Ballet • Split Sole Jazz Shoes - Black & White • Tan & Black Character Shoe • Girl’s Tap • Dance Garments Available WE ALSO CARRY THE JAZZ/HIP HOP DANSNEAKER �������������������������������������������������������������������� 201-652-0744 The Villadom TIMES is your community newspaper, delivered by US mail to all of the residences in the following Bergen County towns, with a total circulation of 56,300: ZONE 1 ZONE 2 ZONE 3 ZONE 4 Wyckoff, Midland Park, Franklin Lakes Ridgewood, Glen Rock Waldwick, Ho-Ho-Kus, Allendale, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River Mahwah, Ramsey ������������������� ��������������������� Your Dog’s Business ���������� �������������������� Is OUR Business �������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������� ������������������� �������������� ���������� ��������������������� ���������������������������� ������������������������������������ ���������������������������� ������� ��������������������������� ���������������������� ������������ ��������������������