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White Castle Approved at Route 9 and Sunrise Boulevard

The application was approved with cross access to Sunrise Plaza and store only will be open from 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. rather than 24 hours

The Planning Board approved the White Castle application by a vote of 7-1 Monday night.

“I feel that it would have a significant effect on traffic, impact the quality of life in Lacey and contribute to safety problems,” said Vice Chairman Charles Wood, the lone vote in opposition.

The application was approved with cross access to Sunrise Plaza, and the store only will be open from 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. rather than 24 hours.

While an entrance and exit to Sunrise Boulevard remains, an ingress to Sunrise Plaza will be on the west side of the property and an egress lane will be on the east. The applicant was unable to get approval from the state Department of Transportation for its own entrance and exit on Route 9.

An application has been submitted to the DOT to widen Sunrise Boulevard on the White Castle frontage to increase access to the right turn lane. The middle lane would be converted to a dual through lane and a left turn lane. The application also seeks to change the timing of the traffic signal.

The applicant also agreed to investigate, along with the DOT, the possibility of widening the right corner of the intersection to make turning easier.

A presentation was made on a new traffic study that was conducted on Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We substantiated the prior analysis,” the applicant’s traffic planner Elizabeth Dollan said.

The original traffic impact analysis was done during the winter of 2009, when White Castle originally came to the Planning Board. The study takes into account the restaurant’s busiest hours and peak season periods, including a potential 20 percent traffic increase during the summer, Dollan said.

“We counted continuously from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” she said. “The Route 9 volumes that were recorded Memorial Day Weekend were actually lower than those that had been calculated with the 20 percent seasonal adjustment factor.”

Committeeman Gary Quinn referred to the 2009 findings, although they were not seasonally adjusted, according to Dollan. During Memorial Day Weekend on Friday, 720 cars were counted going through the southbound side of Route 9 opposed to 249 in December 2009. The figures used in the traffic study were seasonally adjusted and upward of 800 cars, Dollan said.

On Friday, more cars were able to make it through the intersection, she said. Nine to 10 vehicles made it through the light from Sunrise Boulevard on Friday compared to seven to eight vehicles on Saturday. But 12 to 13 cars will be able to be stacked on Sunrise before the White Castles proposed driveway location.

With cross access to Sunrise Plaza, turners onto Sunrise will be reduced, she said. Dollan predicted more customers would enter through Sunrise Plaza on Route 9 than on Sunrise Boulevard.

“White Castle isn’t a very high generator,” she said, adding that there will be no changes to traffic as a result of White Castle activity.

Forked River resident Camillo Papa questioned why the applicant would not consider a less restrictive site, such as at the shopping center across the street.

“We’re going through a lot to squeeze in White Castle,” he said. “I’m not against White Castle.”

The site was “appropriately designed,” Dollan said. “The problem is that the intersection was blown out to accommodate the shopping center across the street.”

With 30 to 36 cars per hour projected to turn out of White Castle onto Sunrise Boulevard to then make a left onto Route 9 South, Papa sees this as the real issue.

“So we have this traffic problem that exists with less than what’s even projected,” he said. “It’s not your problem but you’re adding to our problem.”

The site plan includes 1.71 acres and is currently developed as an abandoned one-story building. The application was approved with four variances — lot width, minimum side yard setback from Sunrise, two freestanding signs and freestanding clearance sign.

The major variance the applicant sought was minimum side yard setback because of the site's small rectangular shape, which was one any developer would face on this property, planner Michael Kauker said.

“The site otherwise complies with the township's ordinances,” he said. "Although we don't meet the letter of the law, I believe the setback is sufficient."

The site will have 24 parking spaces in addition to the drive through, which is expected to accommodate 50 to 60 percent of the customers. The site has crosswalks and the building will have the typical white stone with the blue and white awnings.

“I’m fully aware of the restrictions and problems they presented,” Forked River resident David Menold said. “I think if there is any hardship involved in approval for variances, it solely rests on their shoulders and not on the residents of Sunrise.”

The application was approved with the following conditions: the applicant must satisfy all requirements in its June 8 letter to the board engineer; install a 6-foot white vinyl fence on the east side of the lot; investigate widening the turn on the southeast corner of the lot; request to push back the northbound lanes going into Home Depot; all DOT issues must be approved; deliveries are only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.; trash containers will be placed throughout the site; policing of the area will be done daily; the cross access agreement stays in place; the Sunrise Beach sign will be preserved; and the store will be open between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m.

“We want to minimize the impact it’s going to have,” Quinn said. “We unfortunately have to have a balance because it is a commercial zone. You have to try to find as good as a situation for the residents as you possibly can… We don’t know if this applicant wasn’t to build there, who else would be coming in.”

The decision was a difficult one that was not taken lightly, he said.

WhyohWhy June 12, 2012 at 04:49 PM
JD... these people have a one track mind...they want lower taxes but yet they are unwilling to compromise a little to get it. Its all about compromise...something closed minded people can't grasp !
JD June 12, 2012 at 04:51 PM
RedonRed-Thanks for sharing. Since, I am a fairly new follower of The Patch it will take me a bit of time to fully catch-on.
JD June 12, 2012 at 04:53 PM
TR-I could not agree with you more. Groups of people at Public Meetings can have a huge impact, especially when they ask all of the right questions.
Ryan Hardy June 12, 2012 at 05:18 PM
RedonRed. That's not the point, I as a resident still have to deal with all of the nonsense coming from it. The food there is a one-way ticket to cancer ville! If you ever knew the chemical soup that was in it... Those "cheap burgers" will cost you in cancer and diabetes
Ryan Hardy June 12, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Right on Bob! You hit the nail on the head. I don't want all of the sketchy types and crime that frequent places like that causing problems. Look at that crime hole that Walmart turned into. And the food there is absolutely the worst. They're called GMO crops, and they're the new biggest cause of cancer. But the FDA or white castle wouldn't tell you that!
Ryan Hardy June 12, 2012 at 05:25 PM
It would go great in Barne"ghetto" as they call it
Ryan Hardy June 12, 2012 at 05:27 PM
JD. We should follow the example of LBI, and not just let any business with money in. We should curate just a little bit more. Look at all of the other fast food joints, banks and auto parts stores in town. That said, we might be getting more money, but at what cost to the health, safety and desirability of the town. What about the people who live nearby? I'm sure their property values will be going down soon
WhyohWhy June 12, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Again Uncle Moe... I don't believe its any of your business what 'other' people eat ! Just like its none of you business if 'other' people smoke, drink or do drugs. ITs their life and no one person has the right to tell them what to do that is the reason this country is so great. So WHAT is the point ? What nonsense do you have to deal wth ? The increase of traffic ? Get over it...its going to happen and YOU aren't alone I live in the direct vicinity and I will be affected as well but ya know what ? ITS called PROGRESS... and you can't stop it ! So pick up your big boy panties and deal with it !
Joe Stewart June 12, 2012 at 06:42 PM
This will be just like Sonic....Big deal at first then just another fast food Rest! White Castle is not where people go to eat dinner...like McD' or BK or Wendy's. It's where the drunks and kids go for a late night fix. Without being open after the bars it will probably close in a year. Also, they already changed the middle lane on Sunrise to turn left. This should have been done in the first place.
grace June 12, 2012 at 06:53 PM
a one way ticket to cancerville moe is that power plant!
Bob Eldridge June 12, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Vee your right on the healthy thing, taxes will never go down in this town!! People say you need change , no you dont, if you were here from the beginning like myself, they took this lil town and saw $$$$$ signs!!! Now we have to live with the beasts... Route 9 will always be crowded so maybe we should be more courteous and patient!!!
JD June 12, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Uncle Moe-While, I can certainly understand where you are coming from in regards to LBI and Businesses, all I can say is that if Lacey were to follow that approach then the taxpayers would need to be ready to pay the high property taxes that exist in the communities of LBI. I can already hear the screaming and yelling! As far as those individuals that have properties in the general area, they would have to realize that the piece of property that the White Castle is going on, has been zoned commercial for a very long period of time.
jabe0312 July 10, 2012 at 03:06 PM
“I feel that it would have a significant effect on traffic, impact the quality of life in Lacey and contribute to safety problems,” said Vice Chairman Charles Wood, the lone vote in opposition. Yeah, the abandoned run down house that is there now is much more appealing and safer!
awesome16 July 10, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Nice, Now it will provide more Employment. It may not be the greatest place to work but a job is a job.
Resident of Lacey July 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM
It is about damn time!!! This has been delayed long enough. There are plenty of worse venues that could have been placed there and I am sure that everyone would be whining just as much if it had been a salad works (something I would like to see) but white castle will bring more jobs to the community and provide yet one more dinning option
Ryan Hardy July 11, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Lacey's fat people already have enough fast food outlets. Delay for as long as possible. White castle's food causes Cancer, diabetes and other horrible diseases. Places like these bring down the entire community and attract crime + criminals
Vee July 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM
@ uncle moe your an idiot!!!! I'll see ya at white castle!!!
Dave Sleeper July 11, 2012 at 01:25 PM
After that statement Moe, I'm afraid I gotta go with Vee. You might wanna consider cutting some of those meds in half.
Resident of Lacey July 11, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Moe, unfortunately I have to agree with you in that white castle's food may contribute to the health conditions you mention. I submit to you the fact that almost all the food we now eat has been either processed or treated with some type of chemical, the meat we eat is mostly from animals that have been fed poor-quality food with antibiotics and growth hormones, as well as raised in some of the worst environments. Our fruits and vegetables are being exposed to or treated with many harmful pesticides, chemicals and pharmaceutical products. If you believe it ends there, note that you will even be able to find trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in the water we drink. So to make white castle out to be the smoking gun for cancer, diabetes or any other horrible conditions is simply a mistake and based on a lack of knowledge about the food industry as a whole. To be fair you must include the facts that most however, NOT ALL the food available to us in retail outlets is not as healthy as it could be. It is always your choice not to eat there, just as it is the choice of many others to enjoy white castle's food as well. As for me, I do not frequently eat at white castle, yet I do enjoy their products on occasion. For now, I am off to put some wheat grass in my juicer and enjoy a double shot!
Resident of Lacey July 11, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Moe additionally, I fail to see how white castle is also going to be the source of new crime in Lacey. Do you suggest that white castles are robbed a lot or that thieves like a good old-fashioned rat burger after the evening's loot collection activities?
Ryan Hardy July 11, 2012 at 02:37 PM
It's been proven before- pot heads love the place when they get "the munchies" and their operating hours sure don't help. Look at the effect Walmart has had for comparison
Ryan Hardy July 11, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Meds? I don't think you can handle the TRUTH! All of my comments have been sane, rational, and on the point.
gettin by July 11, 2012 at 02:52 PM
You know what? If you don't like White Castle, don't go there. Wow. What a solution.
Ryan Hardy July 11, 2012 at 03:22 PM
It's not as simple as that. All of the residents, especially the poor few that live by the site will have to deal with the onslaught of negative effects and lower property values as a result of this hair brained decision
Resident of Lacey July 11, 2012 at 07:29 PM
OMG!!! Now the property values are falling because of white castle? ROFL Moe, I loath Walmart and think the place is cesspool yet if you stop in there perhaps you could buy yourself a big old bottle of "Get a clue". The town has made the right decision here and I applaud the progress we are making in our community. And keep in mind white castle uses only the freshest rats so we will never have a rodent problem :)
Dave Sleeper July 11, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Well, I was trying to give you an out. If your not on meds, than maybe your just Bat Shit nuts. Tell me Moe, what time does the crime start? I want to see it all. We can get on Home Depot's roof and wait for all the hookers and dope dealers to show. Nothing lures them two in like a box of hamburgers and large fries. "Ah!..."What they Crave!!"
Ryan Hardy July 11, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I guess I am crazy, but you'll see it alright. When the police reports show and the area gets all ugly like Lakewood and toms river, you'll see.
grace July 12, 2012 at 04:16 PM
property values? you do know you live in lacey right?
john doe July 15, 2012 at 04:59 AM
I bet who ever is shooting down the white castle , you'll see them eating there. Just like with the Walmart people are hypocrites.
Resident of Lacey July 20, 2012 at 06:44 PM
OMG Moe it's starting already...

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